While some smaller upstarts selling custom suits have managed to establish footholds in the US, mass-market suit sellers have had little choice but to change up their offerings. “We have all known for some time now that traditional suits have been giving way to more casual workplace attire trends,” Dinesh Lathi, then-executive chairman of Tailored Brands and current CEO, said during a March 2019 call with investors. “We believe that if we are to deliver sustainable and profitable long-term growth, we will have to deliver a business casual assortment that is as compelling as our suiting assortments have historically been.”

Tailored Brands now plans to lean even more heavily into casual clothes, though it still faces major obstacles. Right now demand for anything more formal than workout clothes is diminished. TAL Group, the giant Hong Kong-based supplier of dress shirts to companies such as Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt, told Bloomberg it expects its business from April through December to be down 50%. Items such as dress shoes aren’t selling either. Ralph Lauren, which sells a lot of clothing for dressier occasions, said today its sales had plummeted 66% in its recent quarter compared to last year.

For the moment, many of those occasions are on pause, or taking place online. With office attire already abandoning formality and countless office employees unlikely to return to their workplaces for some time, there’s even less reason to put on a suit. Suits won’t disappear anytime soon (paywall), but some businesses that rely on them might if they don’t find ways to stay relevant.

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