11 October 2019

Men's Fashion And How It Has Evolved Over Time

As with anything to do with Fashion, men’s Fashion and style have changed dramatically over the decades, there have been many changes in the making of clothing, how clothing is worn, and also how men accessorize their outfits too. There is also a significant change over time in the way in which men groom and style their hair as well (aside from hair problems read more- a comparison article). From influences such as movie stars and sporting heroes. To trends that people pick up and run with. And right the way through to the catwalks. There is always something different to look at and choose from when it comes to Fashion for men. It hasn’t always been as simple as picking what you want and wearing it. And in 2019, clothing is becoming much more relaxed and comfort-based. However, there is still a large portion of the population that watches closely and chooses based on the brands they love and advertising and sponsorship, here is a brief history of Fashion for men and how things change over time.


Photo by AP x 90 on Unsplash

In the early 1900s, Fashion was more to do with social standing and wealth. Top hat and tails, with turn-ups, were the signs of a well-to-do person. Men would wear three-piece suits as standard when needing to look particularly smart, and not only because there is a meeting or a wedding to attend. Comfort may not have been at the forefront of these options, but a waistcoat and trousers with a matching coat really showed how people cared about what they wore. Creativity other than a slightly different colour suit or a different way of tailoring this suit really didn’t become part of the equation for quite some time after this. Luckily we are in a much better place, and many men are choosing to wear much more bold, creative, and comfortable clothing know.

A little further into the timeline of men’s Fashion in the 1920s, following the war, there were plenty of jackets cargo clothing, and button-down shirts coming to the forefront. Inspiration taken from newsreels and magazines and men were considering taste more so during this time. It’s worth noting that the popular TV series peaky blinders is set around this time, and while they’re all clearly wearing suits to a degree, flat caps and different materials such as wood and overcoats and bowties, with watch chains, became a classic look. Clothing in the 1920s for men indeed became more about comfort without leaving the style behind. Although Fashion didn’t necessarily move too far away from the three-piece suit, some of the patterns and colour of the fabrics used during this time most definitely became bolder.

Men’s Fashion took a dramatic turn during the 1930s and 40s with Hollywood films and American tastes becoming quite significant, “friends“ and ideas became quickly shared via magazines and movies. Suddenly men became more interested in Fashion, and using film stars as inspiration for what they wore. Men finally became comfortable with the idea that passion and what they wear is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show them to be individuals. No longer so much about stature and wealth, and definitely more to do with personality and ideas. With knitted tank tops, canes, and a range of different hats to choose from, the suits from old times continued to clothe men through the 1930s, but with added flair and personality, plus the option to dress down for those important dances and dates. Shoes also became a big thing around this time, with brogues and other leather offerings becoming more unusual, and standing out from the crowd.

Moving out of the 1940s and into the timeline of 1950s, menswear sees a fantastic transformation thanks to artists such as Elvis Presley. Leather jackets and T-Bird style collars, Men around this time seemed to relax into a workwear style. Jeans were in, and three-piece suits were out of the equation for anything other than formal events. James Dean and, further down the line, bands such as The Beatles brought a whole wardrobe of inspiration that was not only stylish but accessible to all men no matter their income. Add some grease to the hair, and a pair of sunglasses, and you’ve got the beginnings of “cool“ attire. When style became iconic and exciting to many.

The whole point of the 60s was freedom with random neckerchiefs, and even open colours and shirts with chest hair becoming a common theme. The whole point of the 60s was freedom, and alongside the women of the 60s, the men weren’t going to be left behind with the choices of attire this time. Casualwear became more unusual than before, but much more beige, and yellow matched with brown trousers became popular. It seemed as though the 60s were a time for experiments, and this extended right through Fashion as well as music and other forms of entertainment.

Looking at the 1970s, all trends and fashions seem to go out of the window, and flares matched with huge colours and Afro hairstyles became the in thing. Anything seemed to go in the 70s, including wild patterns on polyester shirts, or even random miss matching knitted suits with flamboyant neckerchiefs, and even open collars and shirts with chest hair became a common theme. We may look back in the 70s and laugh, but it opened up a whole world of ideas and creativity that has long continued into the early 2000s. Fashion became more accessible than before, and people that had not even thought about what they wore beforehand were quickly becoming a fashion icon.

As time passed and we reach the 1980s and 90s the idea that men had little choice when it came to Fashion was long gone, and catwalks and Fashion shows heavily featured men’s clothing, from some crazy neon creations in the 80s, with influences from artists, and big brands come into the forefront such as Hugo Boss and Gucci. The choice was much more significant than ever before for people. This opened up a new playground for all the men who like to become creative with their outfits. And allowed the opportunity to stand out more.

Fashion in the early 21st-century so far has been as eclectic as ever, with influences being shared by the Internet quicker than you can see new trends, and information is transferred faster than ever before, it's challenging to keep up at times. However, Jeans, as they have been since the 50s, are still featured heavily in many men’s wardrobes, and men can choose to be as casual or formal regardless of the occasion as they like. Creative people and everyday people I know able to collaborate and come up with some fantastic ideas. And with gender-neutral garments, designs on simple T-shirts With whatever you choose, it’s quite easy to accessorize, with hats and designer glasses with minimal effort. In 2019 it seems as though Fashion from the whole of history can be dipped into as inspiration to create any outfit you desire.

Ultimately we are fortunate to live in an age where we have so many options available, the creativity and past experiences to draw from, it’s not always easy to think of what to wear, but having the Internet at our fingertips will undoubtedly improve our chances of finding something suitable. We can really go as wild as we like when it comes to Fashion now and it’s important to remember that around personal style is exactly that and nobody else needs to have an opinion.


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