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Short History of Men’s Fashion

There is a rich tradition in men's fashion. Different periods in our history have influenced the trend in men's clothing and have been revived through the ages

There is a rich tradition in men's fashion. Different periods in our history have influenced the trend in men's clothing and have been revived through the ages. What has been appreciated in the past is brought in the present after 50 or even 100 years. Stylists and those who create men's clothing know that they have a rich inspiration in what people wore long time ago.


Personal style is not only about those things we like. We are influenced by the newest materials, collections and shapes we see in stores. We wear certain models of cravats, bow ties and ties because the trend changes and the international market influences men’s fashion in many countries across the globe.


The price of our clothes also influences the choices we make. You can have trendy clothing but still preserve your personal style, having one of the most appreciated clothes on the market but for the right price for you. Menswear shifts through the years and people have been taking ideas from other countries and continents and improved them.


A personal style is all you want when you look to change the way you dress. You can make informed decisions by taking a look at what is new every season. There are many accessories which are being revived nowadays. The pocketwatch, which reminds us of the Victorian era, is a very stylish accessory used by more and more men in modern society. What was considered "dandy" in the past is a lot seen like this in the present.


At the beginning of the 20th century there was a lack of imagination in men's clothing. Designers made new clothes taking into account the main purpose of their utility. Men wore suits made of 3 pieces, their trousers contrasting with the other two pieces (the waistcoat and the sack coat, for example). After World War I, many classic designs were created and many of them are used even in our days.


People started to wear more elegant clothes (and accessories such as bow ties and ties) because business opportunities were flourishing and they earned more money. The chance to travel from Europe to the United States or vice versa also contributed to this change. These markets influenced each other and people took what they liked from these continents, bringing newer styles on the market. The fashion that was worn overseas was rapidly adopted in Europe and changed according to the particular tendency on our continent. Multiculturality also influenced menswear.


The clothes of American people were influenced by the English style; American college students started to wear, in the 1920s, clothes inspired from the outfits specific to that of the Oxford University. There are trendsetters who also influence men's clothing very much. One of them is the Prince of Wales in the UK. One could see in the magazines of that time pictures in which the one who later became the Duke of Windsor was wearing elegant but still simple clothing.


In the 1930s, although financial problems were worrying, menswear was still developing. Movie stars influenced what people were wearing. Cary Grant and Fred Astaire were just two of the most influential Hollywood stars that influenced menswear greatly. Many men just wanted to look like them. Men's cothing started to be worn with the purpose of highlighting their physical qualities. Clothes were not meant to hide some defects anymore. They began to reveal what was not observed and to show that style can be found in simple but well-cut materials.


In the 1940s, men's fashion changed again. The lack of money, due to the economic problems many countries had at the end of World War II, made people buy mass-produced clothes and not order tailored suits and other accessories. Although this is the beginning of mass productions in terms of clothing, fashion was still an important aspect in every day life and in all strata of the society.


Even nowadays, we can see on the market brands that were established in the 1940s and managed to survive and become renowned. Clothes became cheaper, accessible and ready-to-use. Men started to see many possibilities of reinventing themselves and gain the attention of women by the suits and accessories they wore. Their life and activity was becoming more and more formal and they started to wear casual outfits. 


The influence of marketing was also important, and it influenced further development and improvement of this industry in its continuous search of the perfect outfits for that age. A major disadvantage of that time was the lack of variety, as men were all attracted by the very good price of mass-produced clothes.


The 1950s brought even more changes to the adopted style in men's fashion. After World War II, men felt the need to follow the tendency of an establishment. They wanted to be hired in good positions after the end of the war and started looking for new opportunities. Manufacturers started using synthetic materials like nylon, which made clothes cheaper than before. But this also came with the disadvantage of uniformity in style.


The new materials they used had the advantages of being easy to wash and more durable than natural fibres. Among the accessories men used to wear back then we can mention the minimalistic pocket square and hat. Combined with a cigarette, these made a man look more stylish and open-minded to new perspectives and opportunities.


The 1960s were very tumultumos, as people started to be more rebelious and tried to set a new trend and attitude. The lack of inhibition and a sense of adventure started to be part of that society which was focused on setting apart from the establishment of the previous decade. The next decade was also a continuation of the previous years in terms of men’s fashion.


The next two decades were characterized by a revival of formal clothing and expensive garments. People adopted tattoos and became conscious that the way they change the appearance of their physical appearance helps in bringing a new approach to new fashion. Bodybuilding and piercing were just two methods of changing how they looked and become more confident about their own power.