History, traditions
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Clothes Speaking

Suit is a symbol of men's social status, prosperity, confidence and success
Recently, the Oberon online studio has held an opinion poll among Russia's leading fashion designers. As it turned out, EMERCOM Minister Sergey Shoigu is the best overalls demonstrator, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the best model for advertising stylish ties, Vladimir Putin is an ideal model for demonstrating tracksuits and Mikhail Kasyanov is an ideal model for business suits demonstration. 

Olga Biannki, an expert with the Oberon studio thinks that suits are not just clothes for men. This is rather a symbol for a man, a symbol of his social status, prosperity, confidence and success. And the price and label of a suit do not always matter. It is more important where and when a suit was made.
 
It is traditionally said that classics never ages. In fact, it constantly undergoes changes in its slight nuances. There are lots of slight fashionable details: the shape and the color of ties, the model and shade of shoes, the form of a collar and cuff buttons. These details undergo changes not only depending upon the time but also depending upon the geographical location.
 
This has become popular among Russian politicians to have athletic shapes; the fashion was introduced by the president and the prime minister. It has become mauvais ton for respectable politicians and businessmen to look flabby, ageing and bald. They must look fresh, energetic, elegant and perfectly dressed. Such people must know what details may make them stylish and successful.
 
This is very important how and of what materials men's jacket and trousers are made, Director of Russia's leading men's clothes producers ENTON, Valery Kostyukovich thinks. "We are observing considerable breakthrough in fabric production within the past 4-5 years. Now we have super-100, super-120 and super-170 wool fabrics made of super fine threads. The traditional Soviet standard supposed threads with the thickness of 40 and 60. Unfortunately, the thinnest thread produced in Russia today is 80. The fabric quality depends upon the fineness of threads: the quality of fabric is better when it is made of thinner threads. The classical silhouette of trousers and jackets almost never changes. This practically does not matter if jackets have two or three buttons. Fashion allows wearing one or two splines on a jacket today depending upon a man's shape. As for trousers, they must be straight. Once again, it depends upon a man's shape whether trousers should have one or two tucks. Thin light stripes have become fashionable this year once again. Geometry is fashionable too. As for the color, the classical black and dark blue to grayish black are still in fashion. Athletic bodies are in fashion today, at that body proportions are not less important. For instance, basketball players must not wear striped suits, they should prefer chequered suits instead."
 
Valery Kostyukovich believes that once popular army-type jackets are no longer fashionable. At the same time, military will be still fashionable style but rather popular in weekend and travel fashion. The fashionable tendencies of the 1970-80s may get back in a year or two.
 
Olga Kameneva, the chief designer with The Kamenevs Fashion House gives similar recommendations for this season. "The dark anthracite spectrum is the basic colors today. Dark gray or dark blue and black suits with thin stripes with narrow trousers will be in fashion. As for jackets, single-breasted jackets may have three or four buttons, at that only the upper one may be buttoned up. Serious businessmen must wear shirts of the color matching the stripes on their suits."

Expert opinions differ as for the style of the classical shirt today. Olga Kameneva says that stand-up shirt collars a centimeter higher than the standard ones are all the vogue today. The designer says shirts should have average size collars with diverging edges. There should be two or three buttonholes one after another, the same groups of buttons must be repeated on shirt sleeves. Production of such shirts began in Italy last year.
 
At the same time, Valery Kostyukovich thinks that Italian-style shirt collars with the angle of about 90 degrees are particularly fashionable today. He says tie pins are not popular now.
 
Today, men's shirts are made of quite different fabrics. Italian and German shirt producers make shirts of synthetic materials of a new generation. The quality of natural fabrics is set on the molecular level of these fabrics. Their hygroscopicity and comfort correspond the characteristics of natural cotton and flax, but the new fabrics do not crease up. Sometimes these new synthetic materials are even more expensive than natural ones.
 
Olga Kameneva adds that other accessories are also very important for gentlemen today. "Ties must have big, but not bulky knots. They may contrast or match the tone of a suit and have any pattern. Socks must obligatorily match the basic color of a suit. Shoes must be soft, comfortable and fresh. Men should wear clean underclothes of good quality. This is particular important for men themselves to feel stylish and comfortable. Men may even wear small bright strings."
 
In summer, dark colors will be less topical. Valery Kostyukovich thinks business suits remain austere even in summer. "Thin wool fabrics of perfect quality do not make suits warm in summer. If it is allowed to be dressed slightly informal, the color of a suit may vary from beige and khaki to light blue. It depends upon every particular occasion. Stripes remain fashionable even in summer."
 
Olga Kameneva says flax is perfect for summer. "Summer suits may be of light colors with dark stripes.  Light suits of natural shades are classical for summer; brown and beige shades are to be popular this summer. Men should change their traditional summer suits for those made of flax. Wonderful German flax with silk fabrics do not crease and look wonderful."
 
As for the casual style, it supposes loosened ties or no ties at all that is allowed for a meeting with friends or in clubs. Valery Kostyukovich adds that comfort and functionality are essential characteristics of clothes. Lycra is added in all fabrics today, even those ones meant for business suits.
 
Olga Kameneva says tweed jackets, suede of perfect quality or velour perfectly match jeans and roll-neck sweaters. It is not recommended to wear jeans and roll-neck sweaters with leather jackets. The fashionable spectrum is incredibly wide today; half-tints are particularly fashionable.
 
Alexander Chistyakov