Next month these two suits go on sale. the left is an American “Mercury suit” and the right is a Soviet “Strizh spacesuit.” Either one would make a fine addition to any well-stocked wardrobe. You don’t even have to wait for casual Friday to wear these. They are business suits after all.
Mercury suits date back to 1959, when the best-dressed astronauts sported silver. The colour comes from an aluminium powder glued to green nylon fabric.
This suit comes complete with a fibre-glass helmet, gloves and boots. It is 160 centimetres tall and was designed to be a snug fit. Bonhams’s guide price is $8000 to $12,000.
Bonhams has a Soviet Strizh spacesuit dating back to 1988. It was developed for the crew of the Buran, the Soviet Union’s answer to the US space shuttle, and was designed to protect cosmonauts in case they had to eject in an emergency.
The Buran made only one trip, without a crew, before the programme was cancelled in 1993. Bonhams expects the olive suit with detachable gloves to go for $15,000 to $20,000.
Both suits range from way outside my clothing budget to way-way outside my clothing budget. So I won’t be in the running to buy them. Unless there is no reserve then I’ll be the first, embarrassingly low, bid. When I have my own space suite I’ll definitely be dressing for the job I want and not the job I have.