Suit The Form Function & Style

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For over a century the suit has dominated wardrobes, its simple form making it the go-to attire for boardrooms, churches or cocktail bars - anywhere one wants to make an impression. But this ubiquity has allowed us to take the suit's history for granted, and its complex construction, symbolic power and many shifting meanings have been lost to all but the most devout sartorialists. Here, Christopher Breward unstitches the story of our most familiar garment. He shows how its emergence at the end of the 17th century reflects important political rivalries and the rise of modern democratic society, and follows the development of technologies in the textile industry to show how they converged on the suit as an ideal template of modern fashion.