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The Unmistakable Significance Of The White Suit

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You have to be a brave soul to wear white. Whether colouring jeans or shirts, it’s the single shade most likely to magnetise food stains and leaky biros (I say with zero scientific evidence). There’s a cocksureness to wearing something so brazenly impractical. It may say innocence and purity but what it really means is ‘I am above dirt’ and ‘I am here to be seen’. The latter is unmistakably true when in the form of a three-piece suit made from multiple layers of lined Ralph Lauren tailoring, like Emma Watson recklessly wore to Wimbledon during Britain’s enduring heatwave. On the surface, it may seem innocuous, but surely it was the opposite? Surely, it was a blaring klaxon pointing out a celebrity is in the house.

Perhaps, her waistcoat, as many have noted, was a giddy nod to everyone’s current crush Gareth Southgate’s own sartorial presentation. After all, sales of the England managers exact M&S waistcoat soared by 35 per cent after his patronage, while other brands also saw this humble item rise in popularity too.

See: 5 History Defining White Suits

Cinematic history places the white suit on a pedestal. Compare the mafia men of The Godfather and Scarface, to the sweaty sexually charge of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, to the zenith of romantic masculinity of Humphrey Bogart wearing a white dinner jacket in Casablanca, to see this sartorial chameleon at work. It’s unequivocally the calling card of power.

Watson joined the ranks of defiant characters keen to show that they can wear white without spills. Taking a dash of Bianca Jagger, a splash of Jay Gatsby, a pinch of Tom Wolfe, an ounce of Hillary Clinton and an unmistakable sprinkle of Melania Trump, the Harry Potter actress pulled off this smoldering suit with its wide trousers and wider lapels. In the process, she inserted herself into a significant social club, one that requires celebrity status, a maverick tailor and a life untouched by commonplace grubbiness to enter.