How Thom Browne’s Gray Suit Conquered American Fashion

Every new employee of the American fashion designer Thom Browne receives a “starter kit” of his brand’s clothing worth some ten thousand dollars retail, including, among other items, two gray suits, five white oxford shirts, one gray wool tie, and one white pocket square. An eleven-page PDF lays out, through visual aids and bullet points, the rules for how to wear what Browne refers to as “uniform” (never “the uniform” or “a uniform”). Top buttons must remain undone. Shirts are not to be ironed. Neckties, a required accessory, should be tucked tightly into waistbands. Suit pants may be swapped out for a pleated skirt, regardless of one’s gender; Browne, a proponent of androgynous dressing, has been putting men in skirts for more than a decade. Exceptions to the rules are doled out cautiously: the color navy is permitted Friday through Sunday but discouraged during the week; seersucker can be worn in the summer months, and white sneakers only on weekends. Read more at The New Yorker

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