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Published
Mar 15, 2022
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The demise of formalwear? Suits no longer part of UK's pricing index

Published
Mar 15, 2022

If there was one clear example of the demise of formalwear and the rise of more casual, comfort-focused clothing, it's the fact that the formal suit is no longer being included in the UK's basket of goods that make up the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).


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The Office for National Statistics used to include suits as an essential item when working out the trajectory of the CPI. Bot what was once a must have for any man working in an office or shop is now deemed as non-essential.

The ONS said that sales have fallen by such a degree that it's difficult to get enough pricing information, especially as a number of retailers no longer sell suits.

That said, smart clothing does have some place in the basket of goods with a formal jacket or blazer included and men's formal trousers also included, but both items being separate. This also reflects the way many men buy ‘suits’ these days with shoppers able to mix and match between jacket and trouser sizes.

The ONS basket of goods includes more than 700 items that are intended to reflect the products that households are typically buying.

And another sign of the increasing casualisation of the way we dress can be seen from the inclusion of crop tops and sports bras in the basket. This also reflects the rise of consumers’ focus on fitness.

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