How a British king and a Los Angeles race riot gave rise to modern office wear
by: EMILY CHERTOFF
Good morning, gentlemen. You look lovely today. Is that a peaked lapel I see?
Yes, Casual Friday is four days away. While you carve another hash mark into the wall of your cubicle, wouldn’t you like to know the origin of your wool-flannel slave-suit?
This symbol of the American establishment in fact comes to us courtesy of our colonial oppressors! In fact, the suit’s prehistory begins in the evolution of court dress in Britain. Until the mid-17th century, sumptuary laws prevented commoners from wearing certain colors, like the royal purple, fine furs, and elaborate trimmings, including velvet and satin. These were reserved for courtiers of various ranks, and sometimes for the royal family alone.
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