Normally, womenswear gets all the attention– but that does not mean we should forget menswear entirely.
In fact, the simple match is one of the hardest operating clothing in style, and has seen numerous reincarnations for many years.
The creation of the modern-day match is often credited to Beau Brummell, a trendsetting dandy from the early 1800s. He motivated upper class to do away with the flouncy frock coats and powdered wigs of the 18th century, in favour of more streamlined, easy tailoring– comparable to the design we understand today, albeit with tails, riding boots and a cravat.
Since then, the suit has taken a life of its own. Wearing a completely tailored look may not be an everyday incident for lots of us, but it’s still experiencing brand-new and various trends.
A lot of guys dropped long jackets by the early 1900s, and this is how the match advanced from there …
Peaky Blinders …
You might acknowledge the heavy fits of the early 1900s from popular TELEVISION program Peaky Blinders Tommy Shelby and his bros use designs common of the time: three-piece fits in heavy, workmanlike products.
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These were relatively utilitarian clothing, with slim-fitting jackets in muted tones, like black, navy or dark brown.
The Roaring Twenties …
While the working classes stuck to Peaky Blinders-style fits throughout the 1920s, it was a different story for those with cash.
This was a time of excess– think of The Great Gatsby– so drab suits just would not do. Guy increasingly wore tuxedos with white waistcoats for celebrations, or sharply-tailored matches in softer, more costly products during the day. In this interwar duration, fashion was a way of flaunting how much cash you had.
1940s minimalism …
Inevitably, this shifted when WWII hit. Wool was in short supply, so fit producers started experimenting with synthetic blends. Styles became more pared back; colours were dark, and patterns were subtle herringbones or pinstripes.
Even though suits were tailored, pants were absolutely nothing like the slim fits we’re utilized to today. Rather, trousers were relatively loose, with a sharply ironed crease down the front.
Zoot suits …
Style patterns are seldom nicely chronological. While the 1940s saw a more minimalist take on tailoring, it likewise saw the continued rise of zoot matches. Everything about this design was overemphasized: trouser legs ballooned out and were pegged at the bottom, lapels were broad and shoulders were padded up high. The appearance was often complemented with a big pork pie hat and shiny dress shoes.
Starting in Harlem in the 1930s, the pattern was popular amongst the African American and Latinx communities, and became a hot button issue in the 1940s. As zoot fits required a lot of material to make, they were condemned by the mainstream as unpatriotic during wartime shortages.
The style became illegal in some areas of the United States, and riots took place in 1943, where soldiers and sailors targeted Mexican-Americans in LA wearing zoot matches. They ended up being a symbol of demonstration or rebellion, with historian Kathy Peiss stating: “For those without other kinds of cultural capital, fashion can be a way of claiming space on your own.”
Mad Men …
After the mainstream minimalism of the 1940s, the Fifties and Sixties saw matches get a bit more style. This was the age of Don Draper and Mad Men, where numerous males had to wear a suit to work every day.
Styles were clean-cut and well-tailored, paired with slim ties and the occasional waistcoat. There were more opportunities to experiment with patterns and colours, from pastels to an intense houndstooth.
Seventies disco …
Things altered once again in the Seventies, where vibrancy was the name of the video game. Colours were brilliant and wild, lapels were huge, waists were high, legs were flared– think about John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Matches saw experimentation like never ever in the past, with patterns, colours and ruffles taking control of.
Oversized styles …
After the excess of the Seventies, suiting saw a bit of a downturn. Aside from the periodic pastel suit with rolled up sleeves in the Eighties, the 1980s and 1990s saw much more subtle styles: colours ended up being soft and muddy, and tailoring went out the window.
During this time, matches were frequently oversized and looked almost misshapen. This wasn’t precisely the coolest time for males’s fashion, particularly as appearances were paired with broad, funkily patterned ties.
The fit today …
Thankfully, men have actually become reacquainted with their tailor and you’re not likely to see a baggy, uncomfortable match on the red carpet. By the Noughties, fits ended up being easier, chicer and more streamlined.
Over the last few years, guys have actually started injecting their own character into tailoring. Think of Michael B Jordan using a Louis Vuitton harness on the red carpet, Timothee Chalamet in a declaration patterned sports jacket and matching shirt, Chadwick Boseman in a pale pink fit or Andrew Scott wearing red velour. Particularly as fashion becomes more gender fluid, the alternatives for new match styles seem vaster than ever.