In 2014, Australian newsreader Karl Stefanovic revealed he'd worn the same blue suit every day for an entire year while reading the evening news without anyone noticing.
Though his point was actually about his female co-anchor and the way she was unfairly judged on her outfits, the stunt got us thinking - is it really possible to wear the same suit to work everyday and look fresh?
If you're lucky enough to work in an industry where the dress code if flexible, you can take great pleasure in dressing every day - the layers to be matched; the patterns to be clashed; the fabrics to be contrasted. But what about those in finance, or government, or any of the other sectors where wearing a suit is still a daily necessity? Are they automatically banished from the world of style? Must self-expression be surrendered to grim uniformity?
I say not. Though wear and tear is a factor, the reality is that a well cut navy blue suit can be worn five days in a row and still look great, so long as you pay attention to the details and pep it up in different ways on different days.
Here to help you get it right is my guide to doing a Stefanovic, better than Stefanovic did.
1 | Change your shirt
A simple one, this. If you're going to wear your suit everyday - particularly if the weather is warm (but also regardless) - you must change your shirt everyday. The key thing, however, is to try and change the colour or style of your shirt on a regular basis too. Don't simply substitute one white poplin shirt for another white poplin shirt, play with fabrics. Changing the texture of your shirt from a cotton slub to a pique will entirely alter the identity of your suit.
2 | Don't wear a shirt at all
Teaming a T-shirt or a knitted polo with your suit in the summer will make it look like an entirely different suit to the one you wore with a cashmere roll neck in winter. A suit doesn't only work with a classic shirt - remember that. A suit has the potential to look at its best when teamed with more casual pieces - particularly when it's cut close. Wearing your two piece with sportier items will bring out an entirely new identity of your suit, and make you feel different when wearing it, to boot.
3 | Wear them as separates
The only problem with wearing the same suit everyday is that your trousers will wear away pretty quickly if you don't allow them to rest regularly. One solution is to switch up two suits in similar shades and fabrics and wear them as separates on contrasting days. It'll still look like a suit but keep your two piece fresher longer.
4 | Pay attention to accessories
Just like shirts, t-shirts and other under layers, your accessories can make an enormous different to how your suit looks on. Wearing yours sockless with a pair of loafers in summer will look chic and warm weather-ready, whereas in winter with a pair of chunky brogues it'll look like an entirely different suit. Throw in lots of different ties, pocket squares, pochets and briefcases (not to mention haircuts) and you'll have a new suit everyday before you know it.
5| Ensure that your suit is dark...
Pale, bright or patterned suits are great, but they stand out. If you are going to stick with one suit ensure you opt for a dark colour as that will mask all manner of stains and will generally go unnoticed. Most men only wear a selection of navy suits in rotation after all, so who's going to notice if you wear yours over and over again (clue: me).
6 | ...that it fits well...
This is key. A poorly fitting suit will not only look bad the first time you wear it, it will look bad every single day. If in doubt take something off-the-peg to a tailor and get him to alter it to fit. We'd recommend you do this however many suits you plan on wearing.
7 | ...and that it's cut from a perennial fabric
It would be foolish to buy a suit in cashmere if you plan on wearing it throughout the year, even into summer. My advice would be to opt for a high twist, high quality wool cloth like a super 120 or 130, or perhaps even a kid mohair mix. This will keep you (relatively) insulated in winter, provided you wear a coat, and will breathe in summer.
8 | Get minor alterations made
It's fine to occasionally alter your suit. Why not have a turn up added in summer, so that you can go sockless? You can always have it taken down when winter comes. Likewise, be sure to have your jacket and trousers taken in or out should you put on or loose weight. You want to look sharp at all times, even if you are wearing the same suit you've been wearing for months.