by Patrick Appel

The Economist traces its history:

If the precise moment of inception is vague the point of victory of the lounge suit over its forerunners as the standard battledress of the office worker is clearer. According to Christopher Breward of the Victoria and Albert Museum the tailed morning coat finally gave up to the lounge suit with the rise of American business culture at the end of the 19th century. By 1890 the American office worker wanted both the informality of the lounge suit, with its sporting heritage, and a snappy, modern and efficient look that its military antecedents gave it.

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