Through the Decades: Men’s Suits

This week, we are exploring the many types and fashion styles of men’s suits.


Back in the 1800s, when powdered wigs, silk stockings and knee breeches were worn, a man by the name of Beau Brummell came along and invented the suit that gentleman still take pride in today! He was arguably the hipster of the time period, rejecting the typical fashion and, therefore, creating his own. His creation consisted of dark coats, full-length trousers rather than knee breeches and stockings, shirt linen and an elaborately knotted cravat. 


Suits in the early 1900s were defined by dark colors, sturdy fabrics, and heavy wool. Those in more fashion-forward cities added a little more flare to the suit by adding high button-stances, slim lapels, high arm-holes, and high paper shirt collars. Three-piece suits were quite common, and they often were worn with a double-breasted vest under a single breasted jacket.


1920s were very much about flaunting your wealth. Therefore, elaborate and heavily embellished suits were common. Accessories like tie pins were added and colorful shirts, ties, and the suits were worn to represent the fun jazz age. Typically, pants were high-waisted and both pants and jackets loosened up a bit.


In the 1930s, with The Great Depression leaving the country penniless, wide double-breasted suits were commonly worn in somber colors such as rose to prominence. Wide legged pants became common during this time period.


1940s and the suit became a uniform. America was at war, and natural fibers went into making military uniforms instead of suits for the men at home. This meant that fabric was used sparingly and lead to a decline of three-piece suits and cuffs. Rayon material start to replace traditional wools.



Categories: Features by SarahTags: , , , , , , , , ,

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