Here’s a nice summary/overview of men’s styles and fashion from 1860 to 1975.
If you need to create a costume, keep these tips in mind. You’ll be amazed at what you can find in second hand clothing stores! We created many of our murder mystery dinner theater costumes using this simple guide, some photos for visuals and a second hand store.
For some great visuals, do searches on Pinterest. It’s a goldmine of photographs and drawings of period styles and costumes. Click here for men’s fashion and style resource links for each decade just to give you examples: Men’s Fashion by Decade Resource Links.
1860-1919 Men’s Fashion
Never left the house without a hat but might take it off once inside.
- Top hats for the elegantly dressed, golf caps for casual, bowlers, skimmers (or boaters), fedoras towards the 1920’s.
- Black or brown tie shoes, plain black or brown boots.
- Watch fobs, pocket watches, light weight leather gloves, tie pins, argyle socks w/knickers, walking frock: long jacket, short lapels, buttoned high w/ matching trim cut trousers. Double-breasted 1st appeared.
1920 – 34 Men’s Fashion
- Flat tops, boaters, fedoras, golf caps, top hats.
- Black or brown tie shoes.
- Handkerchief in the pocket, carnation in the lapel, gloves w/a top hat, canes for elegance not function. Ties were medium width or bowed in solid, striped or polka dots. Suspenders. Wide-bottomed trousers & zoot suits. Double- breasted.
1935 – 46 Men’s Fashion
Conservative, bland but the most elegant time before the war. WWII restricted: no double-breasted, no pleats, cuffs or full trousers
- Fedoras, caps for the young boys.
- Black or brown tie shoes.
- Handkerchief in the pocket, ties were wide and conservative except for the playboy types (loud). Suspenders.
1947 – 57 Men’s Fashion
“The Thin Man”, Ed Sullivan, Marlon Brando in “Street Car”. After WWII, wide lapels. Early 50’s, olive, drab gray, no stand outs due to McCarthy’s witch hunts.
- Black or brown tie shoes. Suede “hush puppy” and loafers for the 50’s.
- Ties were medium to wide, bow ties popular with the young and nerdy. Gray flannel, tight fitting suits
1958 – 67 Men’s Fashion
- Loafers, top siders, Black or brown tie shoes, suede tie shoes, slip ons.
- Ties narrow and conservative, turtlenecks became popular in mid-60’s.
1968 – 75 Men’s Fashion
70’s: polyester leisure suits, wide lapels, pleated pants
- Hippie: headband.
- Baseball caps
- Hippie: sneakers, sandals, barefoot.
- Same as 1958 – 67 for the rest.
- Love beads, fringe vest, Download
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