A suitable wardrobe
Here’s a fun article on the history of the now-ubiquitous suit:
The pattern was cut in the middle of the 17th century. To maintain an image of what is now called “austerity Britain” after a plague outbreak in 1665 and the Great Fire of London a year later, Charles II ordered his courtiers to dress in simple tunics, shirts and breeches.
This was a profound reversal. Monarchs had long imposed sumptuary laws preventing hoi polloi from dressing too grandly. Forcing the elite to dress modestly suggested that power and place were no longer to be marked by yards of lace and frills.
I would only add that American labels deserve most of the credit for preserving the traditions of bourgeoisie menswear. I can’t think of a European equivalent to Brooks Brothers or J. Press.