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Men are turning their backs on casual dressing with sales of suits and formal shirts soaring.

Debenhams has experienced a 52% uplift in sales of suits as the trend for a smarter look takes hold with Formal Friday now replacing the once popular dress down look in offices at the end of the week.

The High Street retailer has also seen a 26% rise in demand for ties, a rise of 22% for formal collared shirts and a leap of 32% in formal footwear, compared to this time last year.

The change in sartorial style is believed to be a sign of returning consumer confidence in the economy and a more buoyant jobs market which has created competition for promotions and willingness by men to spend more on their clothes in order to make a lasting impression in the office.

A recent poll for employment arbitration specialists ACAS revealed that 65 per cent of workers found it easier to respect a colleague in a suit.

High profile celebrity suit wearers such as David Beckham, Jamie Dornan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Will Smith and Robert Pattinson, have also helped to drive the trend

“As businesses become more confident in the economic outlook we also see male customers opt for more formal dressing in the workplace,” said Head of Menswear Design Julian Fuller

In addition to wanting to look more powerful and confident during the day, male office-workers are finding the suited and booted look works well in a social setting, as they seek a more suave and sophisticated look in the evening. 

Research for Debenhams revealed that almost 8 out of ten women (79%) think a man looks more attractive when smartly dressed, rather than in casual wear and a third of women questioned (34%) would prefer a man who dressed in a suit most of the time.

Debenhams Personal Stylist Alain Mehada said; “In the past month there has been a marked increase in the number of male shoppers booking appointments to find suits for work. They cite reasons for a style overhaul as wanting to appear as more senior and successful. Customers have also alluded to a strategic change of style ahead of annual pay and performance reviews which tend to come at this time of year.”

“There is also the age old reason to want to stand out when in a social environment and it is no surprise that many women prefer men in suits.” 

Julian Fuller added: “The fastest way to raise your profile is by raising your game in the wardrobe stakes. Suiting transforms a man in both the way that he looks and feels with different cuts and tailoring for body shape and style.”

Companies in the UK where workers have reportedly embraced the Formal Friday look, include beverage firm Innocent Drinks, technology firm Swiftkey, and accommodation agency Airbnb, as well as shoe retailer, Kurt Geiger. 

The UK men's fashion market has grown by 18% in the past five years and is now worth £12.9bn, according to retail analysts Mintel. That figure is expected to grow to £16.4bn by 2018. 

The top 6 regions experiencing a suiting revolution are: 

1. London 
2. Manchester
3. Birmingham 
4. Sheffield 
5. Liverpool 
6. Leeds 

Debenhams, home to Designers Patrick Grant’s Hammond &Co, RJR.John Rocha and J by Jasper Conran offer a total of 133 suits in 8 colourways and 4 suit styles; Slim Fit; offering youthful, fashion focused formalwear, Regular; classic, multi-functional suits for all occasions, Tailored; with a premium look and feel and Big and Tall; available in sizes XXL to XXXXXL.

Until 22nd February, Debenhams is offering a new season suit bundle with Red Herring and Thomas Nash suits, shirt, tie and shoes at £145. 


About Us
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. 



Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 /

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