Long before COVID-19, and in large part due to technology, there has been a significant shift in people's attitudes to the clothes they work in and a growing movement towards people working from home, either full-time or part-time.
The appeal of working from home is usually sold as a bit of a fantasy. It is often captured in a message of someone rolling out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee, opening their laptop and choosing how they spend their day.
The underlying message is one of freedom, that people can be free of having to work in an office, free of having to commute and, of course, free to wear what they like.
Whilst this message is very appealing to a lot of people, it has also coincided with a gradual relaxation of formal clothes that people wear to work, often as a change in how a business works or is restructuring its operations
This has happened over decades, moving from three-piece suits and bowler hats, to dress down Friday's when people were free to wear anything fairly casual.
Men's Suits for Hire
Surprisingly, in a way, one of the main beneficiaries of these trends has been the suits for hire industry, which has seen huge opportunities in growth in a way that never existed before.
When people wore suits every day and special dress for weddings, there was much less demand for people to hire suits, as the majority of people who needed them already owned one.
This has changed significantly in recent years, partly in response to people working from home and partly due to the number of much more relaxed work environments. What this has meant is that when people do need to wear a suit, they look to hire one rather than by one.
There are a number of occasions when people need suits, ranging from job interviews, to university interviews, to weddings, to funerals, to the home worker who needs to go into the office once a week or once a month to see their boss.
For all these people, the ease of hiring a suit as well as the cost is actually much easier than buying one, not wearing it for a long time and then finding it doesn't fit properly the day before they need to put it on.
Ways of Hiring
There are a number of companies that have seen the growth potential in this sector, and offer suits for hire either online or in person. The in-person service will normally be done in retail shops, often alongside other ranges of clothing that is usually for sale.
This means that retailers can take advantage of space in their stores to offer a service, hiring suits, alongside selling clothes.
It also means that the person hiring a suit may want to hire or buy other clothes as well, leading to stronger sales overall. Normally this type of service allows the person to hire suits for several days, giving them a much greater degree of flexibility as to when they collect and return it.
Hiring online is more convenient for some people and is also a rapidly growing market. The only word of caution is that it is a good idea to hire the suit in plenty of time, in case, for any reason it does not fit properly and needs to be returned or re-ordered.
Some people are still a bit cautious about online shopping, and the potential security risks that come with it. For them, it may be best to use an online service that is also a part of a recognised or traditional store known to them locally. This inevitably gives them a degree of trust in the process, that would not be there if they simply used a somewhat anonymous online store.
It is worth pointing out that the hiring of suits does not simply refer to what are known as lounge suits, which are the normal type of suit that people wear for work. It also refers to a long-standing market for hiring morning suits and black tie formal wear. These have traditionally been hired rather than bought, and are regularly worn at weddings and upmarket evening events.
To learn more, reach out to a company like Peter Shearer Menswear.