What the return of the Canadian Tuxedo says about our culture

Image via Lucas Dawson
Words by Bianca O’Neill

In 2019, it makes so much sense.

Attending VAMFF always acts as a reminder of the trends you saw last year at MBFWA. The benefit of this event, however, is that you can buy them all now, rather than pine over them for months before they hit shelves.

And a trend that is particularly close to my heart, the Canadian Tuxedo, finally made its way into my life again via the first few runways on show at the Royal Exhibition Building.

Generally, denim has been everywhere at VAMFF, from Arnsdorf’s two-tone flares, to KITX’s dark denim jacket with well-worn frayed detailing. As a model in Bassike’s oversized, bleached denim jacket and matching jeans strode past me during Premium Runway 1, I glanced across at Lindy Klim (also rocking double denim) nodding in approval.

As trends go, double denim is one that has often been the target of ridicule. Even its nickname, the ‘Canadian Tuxedo’, speaks to a lack of sophistication – and the suggestion of a de-formalisation of ‘proper’ forms of dress, which plays on North America’s version of the Aussie/NZ rivalry.

However, in 2019, it makes so much sense. As the focus on casual wear in the workplace intensifies, and more young workers fall victim to the ‘gig economy’, corner offices are increasingly being transformed to spare bedrooms, cafes, and share spaces. Young people are their own bosses – or, are allowed to dictate the rules as they slowly gain more power – and feeling comfortable has become key to choices in work attire, particularly as our hours become longer and more erratic.

Interestingly, this is being juxtaposed with the transition of suiting into casual wear. No longer the domain of the office, suiting has become a favourite in the past 12 months for street style stars and weekend brunchers alike.

Perhaps it says something about the younger generations’ perspectives on dressing; we dress formally for our ‘real lives’, and casually for our work. We break traditional dressing rules with abandon.

As our work and personal lives become increasingly blurred, it also becomes increasingly difficult to see the idea of a ‘work’ wardrobe and ‘real life’ wardrobe as relevant anymore. If you’re logging onto your emails at Friday night cocktails with friends… why not wear a suit?

Or, in fact, a Canadian Tuxedo.


Follow Bianca as she goes VAMFF-ing all around town over at @bianca.oneill

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