Then & Now | Evolution Of 100 Years Of Men's Fashion
The imagery of fashion has been a wide spectrum of trends and facade because there’s always a history to what the men have been.
The idea of fashion is a long run blood induced vein we hold in ourselves. While we seek to look unbelievable, it also comes along with the stature of command over our own lifestyle and the era we seek to live in.
That’s how men’s fashion has evolved from the idea of formality to the place where they seek comfort in everything they wear. They’ve witnessed themselves in all ends of demeanor when it came down to their clothing.
1910-1919’s - The detachable collar era.
The men of this era happened to love simpler suits with a lighter end to the fabric in shades of charcoal, black and navy when it transcended from the early 1910s through the later years witnessed a flabbergastingly new change in the men’s daytime suits with their straightforward single-breasted jackets with narrow lapels and high buttons paired with straight trousers. This was later set in the dials where button-down shirts came along in pastel strips adorned with a club collar and a tie. These collars were known for the unique essence of detachability as shirt collars were considered to need better cleaning than the shirts.
This decade was known for its propriety and formality, with the additional burden of shoulder pads which is why the selection of clothing was more inclined on the lines of serious and elite sense of fashion originating out of the hands of the class hierarchy.
1920-1929’s - The Jazz age
Reflecting the age of optimism along with the shades of simpler, slimmer and brighter, the men went into the blooms of fitter jackets and sloping shoulders while the ties and bow ties which accompanied the suits were now of variety of knits other than just silk. By mid-20s, the button-down shirts with detachable collars were the set norm, though the club collars were now pointed scrub collars with Windsor tie knots.
The trousers were now with front creases and cuffs with belts instead of suspenders. The newborn fashion statement at the Oxford University namely the sloppy pants, adding bulk to the stern silhouette as the Oxford Bags.
This was the era when walking out without hats on was not a crime, along with the rising boost to motor vehicles, driver-friendly attire hit the market which included flat driving caps, leather jackets, and white silk scarves, giving a whole new classic to the driving man.
With the new additions to their atmosphere which was more informal on the grounds of fashion since the automobiles had walked right in, it was rather conventional to stay in drive with the formal suits up and button-downs for the chase.
Also Read - 100 YEARS OF FASHION - WOMEN’S FASHION THEN AND NOW
1930-1939’s - The economic-crash conserve fabric age
As the superman silhouette grew popular, so did broad shoulders, tapered legs, and thin waisted coats, which came along with suit jackets which happen to have wide, pointed and elongated lapel. Though this happened due to the great economic crisis, the suits grew thinner and back to the shades of dark and neutral colors in order to take care of the sentiments of the situation. The men started to wear cheaper fabrics which included wool, flannel, tweed, and linen. This was the first time when the young men decided onto a different style to their fashion, which had a polo and bush shirts in order, newsboy and Ivy caps, along with moccasins, loafers and rubber-soled Keds in the shoe choices. This little extra effort of the young lads was including bright checked and striped socks too.
Though in the late 1930s, the swing era where jitterbug and swing dances were a “thing”, zoot suits happen to bring in a new element to the floor. They required in excessive fabric sleeves, with pants worn tight at the waist with a keychain, accessory to be hung around. This was doped by a hat with a feather making the look turn sharp and rebellious.
1940-1949’s - The wartime austerity
As wartime hung over society like a sword, flashy had to be out of fashion as it discussed the state of patriotism in the people. Suits again went on to cut fabric, hence no longer included vests, pocket flaps or trouser cuffs.
In the post-war scenario, the double-breasted jackets were back in trend, with wide trousers and colored or hand-painted silk ties; decorative tie pins happen to be an add on to the trend. Casual and Hawaiin trend also flew outside the knocks of Hawaii. This trendsetting era came along the lines of relaxation after the post-war era.
1950-1959’s - The Elvis Presley game
The businessman was back in dark flannel suits, portraying conformity and idealism. The slimmers ties and less pronounced shirt collars added onto the formal look. The hats held out narrower brims, as the idea of clothing turned in to be more leisurely. The shorts grew shorter in pastels, along with sports blazer being the comfortable shape for men. The sunglasses hit the store with wayfarers and club masters on the rotate.
This was also the time when the greaser subculture flew in the market. Just like Elvis Presley on the cover, the youth celebrated the greased back hairstyle, fitted white or black t-shirt, along with the option of ringer t-shirts or baseball t-shirts, this was paired along rolled up black or blue denim, leather jackets or bombers, army boots or converse. As the youth grew out of the adult fashion zone, travel grew in popularity.
1960-1969’s - Beatles on stage!
This was the era where work culture relaxed and people walked into offices in army coats and denim jackets. Beatles on the other run gave essentiality to straight cut suits, skinny ties, and signature haircuts.
While it was inspired by the on-stage arena of a band, this decade of fashion was a kickstart to the time of casual in the formal men’s play game at their nine to five desks.
1970-1979’s - Fast fashion era.
The fashion for men finally grew in the wash and wear scenario. One could go out in bell-bottom trousers and sports shoes, sport a three-piece disco suit, chunky cable knits and leisure or tracksuits on the run. Men were known for their choice of bold colors and patterns.
This was an invitation to the quirky and spot on active fashion for men where sports and out of sports no longer mattered as the tracksuits were more of a daywear thing. This was also an element of activeness if a man could sport the finest accessories on the sports court and outside.
For example, a headgear was a must when you walked out of the doors early in the morning, but sports shoes were more of a throughout the day kind of thing.
1980-1989’s - The quirky decade to fashion
While activewear held a spot on an active look to the dressing style of this era. This was somewhere people would never want to fall back on. It was now that branded clothes happened to be the known thing for status, as brands began to matter.
Over the end of this decade, suits grew neutral, with skinny ties and knit square bottom ties. This era was known for the graphic prints it brought along and the slouchy pleated pants, bomber jackets, and preppy plaids as the new thing to their way of seeking happiness.
The youth set right for the Beastie boys embraced the hip-hop culture downtown hence, added chains, knuckle-wear, caps and baggy clothes were more of an everyday thing for the young boys to be part of the “in crowd” in their vicinity
Also Read - 100 YEARS OF FASHION - WOMEN’S FASHION THEN AND NOW
1990-1999’s - The high into the casual era.
While being known for its casual and minimalistic stance, this decade a high to rave, hip-hop, and grunge. The t-shirts, shorts, and trainers along with sweatshirts and hoodies were the raging timeline to the market. This decade built tattoos and piercings to hold an idea of rebellious in its shade. Leather jackets, knit-sweaters, flannel inspired button-downs, and baggy denim brought in new dimensions to men’s fashion.
Now, wearing a baseball cap outside the baseball game was a cool thing to do, along with jorts i.e. jeans and shorts, manpris, parachute pants doped with sporty sneakers and graphic t-shirts of your favorite band or singer. Men’s world of couture held out new sunshine from the West.
This traveled down to the east wing of the world too, where jeans were no longer a taboo. While women couldn’t sport it as wildly as men could hence they exploited their edge of jeans in this era of fashion for the men.
2000-2010’s - The fusion undeniable
In the high and low trend mixer, leather outfits had puffy jackets, tracksuits were worn with Rockport boots, and beige, rust, and forest green was the camouflaged era of the men. This was also when low rise jeans and light-colored polos looked sophisticated to people, but so did cargo, khakis, and oxford shoes.
This also bought in trucker hats, aviators, flip-flops, and boxers bringing the ultimate beach look to your party. Though the suits were still not out of fashion as they grew shimmer black, navy and charcoal again, just with a Nehru look or a Mandarin from Matrix or James Bond to look cooler than ever.
2010-2019’s - The modernity around.
This decade is witnessing the 20’s prep style, including the casual looks with added class. This also grew to be athleisure, along with rave bracelets bringing out a new rebellious charm to the decade. Air Jordans and Offwhite rock the markets for designer sneakers and cashmere hoodies, along with the no-collar millennials' attitude.
From dressing to impress, with propriety and formality etched to the collars and the hats to the time when men have begun to dress to express the stage out there, a lot has changed for the fashion world of nowhere. Unless you walk out of the door with the most gibberish attitude and anything which suits you because all you need to be is unapologetically yourself when it comes to being able to leave behind a fashion statement for the legacy to follow.