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Men’s Fashion Through 8 Decades

When Edgar Jerome opened their doors in 1923, men’s fashion wasn’t to change from the conservative wear of the average man until after the Second World War when different fabrics, colour and styles changed men’s fashion forever.

1920s: It was a time when men still wore distinguishable "daytime" and "evening" attire. Sacque suits were worn with shirts in mellow shades of putty, peach and cedar. The "always-suave" tailcoat with perfectly starched white shirt underneath, was regularly accompanied by a top hat and black patent leather shoes and comprised formal evening wear. In 1925, baggy trouser were first introduced and flannel became the fabric of the era. Knickerbockers were also the latest in casual wear for the well-dressed gentleman.

1930s: On October 24, 1929, the Wall Street crash occurred in the USA causing repercussions world-wide. One of its effects was to be seen in the way clothes were both manufactured and purchased. Men's suits were restructured in the hope of creating the image of a wider torso and shoulders were squared-off by wadding or pads. The double-breasted suit was steadily growing in popularity, and was often designed in colours still considered fashionable today: charcoal, steel, slate, navy and midnight blue. Blazers were “the in thing” in the summertime, especially in colours such as bottle green and tobacco brown.

1940s: The zoot suit was one of the few exceptions to the strict rationing of that time. In order to save material the suit had changed from having a waistcoat, jacket, and two pairs of trousers to just the jacket and one pair of trousers. Men's style after the war preferred a new look: long, full-cut clothing. The "casual shirt," which was first worn  on the beaches along the east and west coasts of the USA was soon to be seen on the backs of men everywhere. For the first time, young people were setting the fashion trends while the older people followed.

1950s: Men, with the new title of "heads of their households," had to have a certain dress code for work. Business attire consisted of a curly bowler, narrow trousers, single-breasted coats with velvet collars, and a rolled-up umbrella. In 1954, men surprisingly began to wear pink shirts.

1960s: Men's suits, under constant renovation, became tighter-fitting in this decade, and narrow trousers were worn by the fashionable young with "winkle picker" shoes. Sideburns were "in," and long hair became more respectable. In the latter part of the '60s, men's dress took a more "feminine" look with paisley shirts in bright fluorescent colours and bell-bottomed velvet trousers. Sleeves were puffy. Trousers were bright and bold in purples, oranges and greens, offset by flowered prints on velvet fabric. Jewellery collections for men were also launched.

1970s: Jogging suits, trainers, tight T shirts! The disco era's "fine specimen" was a man dressed in a tight pair of polyester bell-bottoms, a bright floral body shirt with a wide butterfly collar and six-inch platform shoes. Stay pressed trousers with a Brutus or Ben Sherman shirt was the “look”

1980s: Designers Anne Klein, Vivian Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino and John Galliano were busy turning out the latest power suits. Men wore their hair long and layered, teased or in a Mohawk-Do. Leather and studded jean jackets were "rad", as was the Miami Vice look: pastel T-shirts under a dinner jacket and slip-on shoes with no socks.

1990s: Fashion was influenced by retro. Vintage second-hand clothes shopping was the trendiest way to create a unique look all of your own. Gothic and cyber punk styles appeared, as well as hemp clothing. Men were no longer adhering to one specific fashion, rather to whichever they preferred. Suits were now available in a wide range of cuts, colours and patterns. Accessories for men were now also appearing on shelves in men's clothing stores .  

The New Millennium

Men's style since the year 2000 has been, quite objectively, a mixture of the best elements of all previous fashion eras: the baggy trousers of the '20s, the casual shirt of the '40s, platforms from the '70s, and retro from the '90s all rolled together. There isn't a particular pattern or fabric that stands out exclusively from all the others. One thing's for sure though - fashion of the new millennium is anything but simple.

Perhaps even the paisley, fluorescent shirts are doomed to repeat themselves at some point! Inevitably, men's fads will continuously return at one time or another.

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