Oliver Spencer: ‘The suit that people go to work in is a thing of the past’
Menswear designer Oliver Spencer on the sartorial sensibility of our wardrobes
‘What day of the week are we? Could be Monday could be Tuesday,’ says London-based menswear designer Oliver Spencer, musing on the Groundhog Day level of mundanity we’ve experienced this year. However, one thing the Spencer feels sure about is the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our wardrobes.
‘I’m afraid that the suit people go to work is a thing of the past,’ Spencer says of the smart office tailoring that once dominated many men’s work wardrobes. As we’ve been confined to our homes, 2020 has seen a significant spike in the sales of the designer’s loungewear pieces, be it Milan jersey slim tracksuit trousers or dressing gowns in windowpane check organic cotton cloth, half zip sweatshirts in cotton fleece or multicoloured melange socks. ‘I think we actually sold out of tracksuit bottoms at one point,’ he laughs.
However, Spencer doesn’t see us all returning to boardrooms in sweatpants at the tail end of 2021, or saying goodbye to suiting forever, but sees a softer approach to dressing that will sit somwhere between both silhouettes. ‘I feel we’re going to see a new sensibility of dressing, almost an era of refined casual wear, very architectural and quite beautiful and loose,’ he says. His take on the new suit? ‘It could be a drawstring trouser in a new lambs wool with a matching bomber jacket on top.’
When UK went into its first lockdown in March, Spencer’s collaboration with Brompton saw us zipping around the London’s deserted streets on his take on the classic fold up bicycle, imagined in navy and red tones. His sartorial sensibility is sure to see us ride smoothly style wise into 2021. §