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How Drake's made wearing suits fun again
A few thoughts (and mostly appreciation) on what Drake's means to menswear
Combat boots for the journey
Something I’ve been thinking about
The proliferation of athleisure, streetwear, and the diminishing need to be in a traditional office over the last 15 years has changed how we dress, no doubt. Suits were once *the* default signifier for status and taste, but that was dethroned years ago, and the #Menswear era was the last straw.
But the momentary shift away from tailored clothing was strange, in a way, considering plenty of American sportswear brands have suiting in their DNA—hello, Brooks, Ralph, J.Crew, Todd Snyder.
That said, I don't think many have done a good job (lately) at integrating casual sportswear with dressing up in a compelling way (though, J.Crew is doing a much better job under Brendon).
But we’re hitting a new inflection point where dressing up is fun again—part of a vibe shift—and I’m excited about that. And I think Drake’s is a big part of that resurgence.
How they’re making suits aspirational and attainable:
Color and playfulness
Cohesion across collections
Understanding sillouhettes and shapes
1. Playing with color
Where it feels cheesy for some brands to inject pops of color loudly, Drake's does it effortlessly.
Here’s a quick comparison.
Take this photo from Brooks Brothers Fall/Winter 2022 on the left, with Drake’s on the right.
Brooks is forcing the color into the fit (plus the fitting is all wrong, which we’ll get into later). But with Drake’s, the color placement is subtle, drawing your eye to it in a playful way without making it the outfit's focal point.
Here are more examples of color at play.
It’s worth noting that the balance of color and fit/shape is important to get right if you’re doing to go bold, especially if the color is going to be anything other than accessories (knit cap, scarf, socks). If the colorful piece is a focal point (pant, knitwear, etc) the balance of how it fits becomes more important.
If you were blindfolded, walked into one of Drake's stores, and picked five random pieces, they'd likely all work together.
Look, I don’t know if there's a term for that, but that's just how Drake's is designed, and it’s bloody wonderful.
Their items all intersect beautifully; the designers understand how to merge these different collections in a way that other brands just can’t seem to figure out (I’ll also admit some of this is down to creative direction, styling, and models they use too—and that’s the point).
Puffer vest and a tie?
Cricket sweater with denim?
Flannel with a chore coat?
This is what cohesion looks like.
3. Silhouette and shape
Going back to the Brooks example above, sillouhette is everything to me. How things fit makes or breaks what you wear. Making garments that drape accordingly is difficult to do well. But again, Drake’s understands this. Some indicators that they understand shape and fit.
Neapolitan, sof) shoulders (like it blends with the skin)
Outerwear angles away from body
Gradual taper in the pant with no break
Leg length is perfect for loafers, boots, etc
Their creative direction and styling is vibrant, quirky, fun, and inviting. It creates this aspirational feeling is attainable, which is different than how aspiration feels with most other luxury brands.
Mostly, I just appreciate how Drake’s has created this world around their brand and products without isolating itself as another “tailoring company on Savile Row.” They have a connection and mutual respect to other areas of menswear, from vintage to prep to sneakers, and how they blend these aesthetics into their own tradition, reminding you that you can dress up again and actually be fun.