What makes a uniform a uniform? Surely it’s part style — the types of pieces that make it up (a suit, a team jersey) — and part consistency — the simple act of donning something that serves a sartorial purpose over and over. But why do we gravitate towards this kind of dressing—for comfort, for self-definition, for ease?

These were the questions Perry Ellis Creative Director Michael Maccari explored for the Fall/Winter 2017 collection. He wanted to change up the idea of a uniform to create a modern, more versatile version. He calls the resulting collection Perry Ellis Schooled — a customization of the traditional concept of a uniform, unique but retaining that recognizable, best-loved form.

The focus for Maccari is always how the modern man dresses. He needs workwear, but he doesn’t want to be tied to stiff suits (a previous uniform of a less modern age); he’s busy and needs clothes for being on the go; and he is frequently combining work with play, and wants clothes that represent him in both. Hence, a new uniform: One that can be slipped on without thinking too hard, but is sure to impress every time. Says Maccari:
“In the last few years, we’ve played with the traditional idea of sportswear and added a unique Perry twist, reinvented the suit, and redefined how activewear and performance fabrics are incorporated into our collections. This season we’re bringing all of these elements together to create a cohesive experience, with a particular focus on functional pieces that can be worn now and transitioned into next season.”

Plaids, cable knit logo sweaters, and solid basics repurpose the nostalgia of school uniforms. Twill tracksuits and velvet referee jackets evolve the athleisure look to something more elevated—less gym class. All ready to mix and match to create a new dress code.