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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1988 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Smith, Paul, born 1946 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Paul Smith learned his trade working in the industry. He opened his first shop, in 1970, in Nottingham, and his first London shop, in 1979, in Covent Garden. This design is Paul Smith’s version of the 1980s iconic wide-shouldered double-breasted suit. His suits were worn by men who aspired to the ‘dress-for-success’ notion of the Eighties. Smith began showing menswear collections in Paris in 1976, but didn’t add a womenswear collection until 1994. His designs reflect a classic British style with a twist, often through the use of colour and pattern. Smith has had considerable commercial success both in Britain and abroad, particularly in Japan, where he now has more than 200 stores. In 2000, he was knighted by the Queen for his services to the British Fashion Industry.

Physical description

Suit of navy blue wool pin-stripe.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1988 (made)


Smith, Paul, born 1946 (designer)

Materials and Techniques



Weight: 3.14 kg

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1988/67. Part of an outfit T.3 to E-1988.

Descriptive line

Suit of wool pin-stripe, designed by Paul Smith, Great Britain, 1988

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

De La Haye, Amy, ed. The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997. London: V&A Publications, 1997. p. 58.

Labels and date

The wide-shouldered double-breasted suit became an icon of the 1980s design. This suit combines a powerful silhouette and business-like fabric with the apparently contradictory accessories of jeans-style leather belt, canvas plimsolls and shirt intended to be worn tie-less. Paul Smith is a leading exponent of fashionable, top-level ready-to-wear tailoring. [1997]
English, Paul Smith, Spring/Summer 1988
Woollen twill pinstripe suit and cotton shirt.

The suit can be worn either formally or informally. On formal occasions the coat is buttoned and the shirt tucked into the waistband. For casual wear the jacket remains open and the shirt loose but buttoned to the neck.

Paul Smith celebrates his tenth anniversary in Covent Garden this year. During the past decade his success as a designer for men's clothes has reached international status. He is known for his infinitely flexible approach to design. 'Paul Smith likes to feel that his clothes provide a framework on which people can build using individual interpretations to make the look their own' (The Guardian, 9 November 1987)

T.3 to E-1988 [1988]

Production Note

Spring / Summer 1988


Wool (textile)

Subjects depicted

Pin-stripe suit


Fashion; Textiles; Men's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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