Vintage Trends

Fashion Guide 

for men

TIP

BLAZERS

1970s tweedy blazers, and glam rock style blazers with their wide lapels, their single or double breasted features & slim cut are almost identical to 1930s blazers. Also 1960-70s striped cotton blazers can pass for 1920-30s 'boating' blazers.

But 1970s blazers are much  cheaper to buy and easier to get that 1920-30s one!

Above:Errol Flynn 1930s 'Tweedy' Blazer
Below: David Bowie 1970s 'Tweedy' Blazer
Left: 1920s 'Boating' Blazer
Right: 1970s Striped blazer
1970s Glam Blazers

1920-30s

1910s-1950s

The Two main types of wear for discerning gentlemen were the Tweed Suit and the Long tailed Tuxedo.

 

Tweed Suit:

Worn as daywear, business wear and acceptable for informal gatherings.

Although not much different to later decades except that the cut was longer with squared off edges,the shoulders were unpadded, and they were single breasted three piece suits with waistcoat,trouser and blazer. They are worn with a winged collar and cravat or round collar with slim tie with pin

& a Homburg Hat.

 

Other Outfits

Plus Fours:

Wore only for sport, driving a motorcar or hunting at this stage of the century.

Boating ' Club' Blazer:

Considered a 'Club Blazer' these were worn only by 'club members to events, like boating, cricket , etc

 

Later in the 1920s, these last two outfits were adapted and mix & matched for a fashionable day look for both men and women.  

The 'club' blazer was no longer reserved for club members and was worn to picnics and to watch sporting events.

It became known as the

'Boating Blazer'.

Probably because it was worn with the 'Boating Straw Hat' which had been only worn by women in the Victorian period, now men decided to wear them too.

The Tuxedo:

Reserved for high formal occasions & the Opera.

Long split tails, wide satin shawl lapel, soft unpadded shoulders with front pleated trouser. Accessorised with a top hat, cane, white bow tie gloves & handkerchief & lapel flower or button brooch, shoes could have spats but not everyone worn them.

Early 1920s Mix & Matching
Late 1920s Women in Plus Fours, waistcoats & ties
Traditional Plus Fours

SUITS

1910s - 1960s

1910s Suit

1920s Suit

1950s Suits

1960s ' Mod' Suit
1930s-40s Pin Stripe Suit
1920s man using Plus Fours for everyday wear
 
Who said Plus Fours can not be sexy?
Its not the pants its how you wear them!

Etiquette TIP

Tuxedo

When do you wear black tie or white tie?

What shirt collar do I wear with a tux?

Answer: Wear white tie and 'wing tip' collars with tails , always ONLY exception is a cravat, And with a tux at very formal occasions and going to the opera. Where black tie at formal events with a tux or formal dinner jacket with either 'wing tip'  or 'butterfly' collar or a 'spread' collar, to accommodate the bow tie.

See guides below

THE CRAVAT

Used before the invention of the tie, it was still kept for special functions like weddings through the centuries.Brightly coloured often patterned and usually silk. The size of a mans cravat showed his wealth.Eventually it is called a necktie.

BELOW are images of cravats in order from

1700s,1800s,1910s,1920s,

1930s,1940s,1950s,1960s

 

1700s                      1800s                  1910s                1920s

1930s                           1940s                      1950s                 1960s

HATS

Hats worn by men did not really change much from 1910s through to 1950s.

Most decades worn variations of the same hats. The only really new hats that came about was in the 1920s 'Fedora', the 1930s ' Panama' and the 1940s 'Pork Pie' and the 1950s 'Stetson' hats.

Mainly these were what was worn in these decades.....

1910s

Derby or Bowler, Top Hat, Flat caps, Homburg,Boaters, Walkers & Golf hats.

1920s

Fedora,Derby or Bowler, Top Hat, Flat caps, Boaters,=,Homburg

1930s

Panama,Fedora, Homburg, Flat Cap, walker  and Derby or Bowler

1940s

Pork Pie, Homburg, Fedora, Panama.

1950s

Stetson, Panama.

1940s Suit
Double Breasted 1940s Pin stripe suit
Wide lapels, colourful and pattern tie.

1920-70s

Whats with the knitted Vest?

1940-50S

1940 s Sheep Skin Coat
Actor James Dean in a
1950s 'Nylon' Jacket

Why was the enduring knitted vest worn from the early 20th century right through to the 1970s?

One answer to that might be because the knitted vest was the first acceptable casual attire for a man that was not strictly working class, but rather middle class and white collar workers adopted it. It had many merits. Firstly it was practical, it kept you warm without having to wear tweed or a full on jacket. It also kept the baggy shirts from rising up without the need for suspenders. Second, you could be fashionable as you liked by a designed pattern or just plain colour and they looked smarter than just a shirt.Thirdly, it could be handmade, a loving gift from a girlfriend or mother, therefore individualised.

''Spiffing! Who made your vest?''

THE DISTINCT DIFFERENCES IN DECADES

1920- The vests were very short, just covering the high waisted trouser top. The neck often was deep to allow for a cravat if you wanted and as ties were wide too. The designs were in keeping with the jazz age often heavily patterned and brightly coloured in various hues. 

1930s-Very similar to the 1920s version necklines were often round and higher up to accommodate the smaller ties and collars

1940s- In the 40s the neckline became the

'V neck'. The patterns continued but and monochrome in hue and different knitting patterns were being introduced.The vests were longer sitting just at the hip.

1950s-The vests were longer, to the hip,

The V neck became more pointed and slightly deeper. Elaborate knitting patterns like cable knit was often used. Colours were monochrome and masculine in hue, no oranges,purples or pinks, etc But rather navy, burgundy,grey, brown, beige,etc

1960s- The vests became plain with no patterns, tighter knit, plain monochrome colours.

1970s-The word 'vest' was considered 'naff' in the 70s, so the new name for the 'vest' was 'tank top' and not only men worn them. They came in different style, bold colours, varied patterns and could be machine knitted, homemade knit, crochet, chunky knit or fine. Anything goes!

1920s

1930s

1950s
1940s
1960s
Machine Knit
Late 1970s tank top
Mid 1970s- Unisex Tank Top
Return of the 1920s look, short and deep neckline.
Early 1970s Home made Crochet
unisex Tank Top 
1950s Longer Vests

JACKETS

1940S- Influenced by the military because of WW 2,. The Bomber Jacket, the Flyer Jacket, the Motorcycle Jacket. These jackets were often leather, sheepskin and other natural hard wearing fibres.

Suits were big and baggy with structure shoulders.

1950s Waist lines were made distinctive and much shorter. The Bomber jacket from the 1940's was still in but shorter.Most jackets had the 'Bomber' shape.

The 'Italian Collar became really 'in'.Mad made fabrics were cheap and available and gave many 'modern' effects to a jacket, eg: Nylon 's sheen, 

Zippers were favoured too.

The leather jacket takes on the style of the 'Motorcycle' style of WW2 but is called the 'Biker' Jacket.

New inventions were the zipper and reversible jacket.

1950s Leather ' Biker ' style jacket

1940s Sports Jacket

1950s Fashion Jackets

Original 1940s Sheepskin Flyer Jacket
Original Motorcycle Jacket from WW2
Original 'Horse Hide'
Bomber Jacket 1940s
1940s Jackets

THE 'T' SHIRT

1940s Long Baggy suit Jackets & Pants
Marlon Brando in Biker Gear- notice the zippers.
1942- The first picture of the T Shirt
1950s Stars made the T Shirt popular

May have evolved from the Long Johns of the 1800s, a type of underwear. First used by farm workers in the 30s then used by the military in WW2. The company Levi who made Long Johns and Dungarees which both evolved into the T shirt and Jeans.

The T or Tee Shirt was a practical garment for the military or farm worker in hot weather. The shirt was first always white. But evolved to become many colours. By the 1960s it became unisex and was used to print your bands name on, a funny cartoon or trendy symbols with a message adorned the T shirts.Even companies advertised on T Shirts.

It was first popularised by Marlon Brando when he wore one in the movie The Street Car Named Desire in the 1950s

1970-80s Advertising 'T' shirt
1970-80s Youths with 'band' T shirts
1950s 
Contemporary ' Vintage styled' T Shirts
1970s sitcom character
'Frank Spencer' played by actor Micheal Crawford, who wears a vest in 1920s style.
1930s Double Breasted Suit
Panama
Fedora 
Boater
WW2 Bomber Jacket