SuitsThis Soviet Era Suit Commercial Is Weirdly On Point
Bad times, good suits.
Menswear wasn't exactly high on the list of things the Soviet Union was known for. Most Americans, especially those too young to remember the superpower at its height, tend to imagine a country where every man woman and child wore identical gray jumpsuits and walked in perfect formation. Not true. In fact, the one-party state actually produced two of the most buzzworthy men's designers in fashion today—Gosha Rubchinkskiy (born in Russia) and Vetements' Demna Gvasalia (born in Georgia). But it turns out their sartorial impressiveness goes back even further. Check out this old Soviet era ad for suits that isn't half bad. (You know, except for that insufferable soundtrack.)
The idea of mixing and matching your suits with a set line-up of tailoring is actually a pretty modern idea. For those of us in the good old U-S-of-A in 2016, mismatched suits are an easy way to 1) not look so stuffy and 2) get extra mileage out of your rotation. That doesn't mean you have to buy some box set of pre-made "companion" fabrics (or look so damn miserable wearing them), but it does mean that you have to know which suits to mix and match. The main ingredient here that this old commercial doesn't mention (or maybe it does, my Russian ain't great) is contrast. Even in old school mother Russia they knew that a blue jacket and slightly-lighter-blue pants would just look funky. As for that cropped double-breasted jacket with pleated pants, we have to wonder if Demna referenced it in his Spring-Summer 2017 Balenciaga collection.