From huge white collars to retro influenced trends, men’s fashion has been born, altered, reborn and expressed over and over again, through different variants of colours, fabrics and patterns. Normal and large men’s clothing has always been directly influenced by exterior social factors. War, world events, social influence and the rising of the next generation all have a large impact on the men’s fashion industry, shaping the way that people dress to look stylish and modern.
Here we give you a quick rundown of the highlights of each decade from the 1920’s up to today:
1920s: During this time men wore easily distinguishable outfits that can be classed simply as ‘daytime’ and ‘evening’ attire. Sacque suits were worn with shirts in mellow shades of putty, peach and cedar. The tailcoat was a popular garment for evening wear. Mid 1920s the baggy pants were introduced with flannel patterns, along with other casual wear items that the well-dressed gentlemen would wear.
1930s: In 1929, the Great Wall Street Crash struck the United States, which lead to various industries being literally turned on their head, as the United States had impact on the UK’s fashion. The way clothes were designed and manufactured was completely changed, with big cutbacks on these processes. Mens suits were restructured in the hopes of creating the image of a wider torso and shoulders were squared off with wadding or padding. The double breasted suit was in demand and was often designed in various dark colours, many of which we still see similar variations of today. Blazers became fashionable with a variety of colours, from navy, red and bottle green.
1940s: During this time, the zoot suit became rather popular for men. Men began to prefer a long, full-cut clothing with the casual shirt being worn along the beaches. During this decade there were young men wearing their choice of clothing and setting fashion trends themselves, rather than other manufacturers. Casual shirts caught on and were seen throughout the country and neighbouring regions.
1950s: During this decade, men were considered to hold the title ‘head of the house’ – so had to dress like one. Many working men wore business attire including a curly bowler, narrow trousers, single-breasted coats with velvet collars and a rolled up umbrella.
1960s: Mens suits were under construct redesign and renovation. They became better fitting and narrower during this era and were worn by the fashionable young with ‘winkle pickers’. Sideburns were also ‘in’ and long hair became more acceptable. The general fashion style for men became more ‘feminine’, with pink shirts, paisley shirts, and offset flowered prints on velvet combinations. Jewellery collections for men were also launched and used widely.
1970s: This decade brought along jogging suits, sneakers, message tees and hot pants. Somewhat considered as the ‘disco era’, many men were not afraid of dressing in tight polyester bell-bottoms, bright floral body shirts, wide butterfly collar and six inch platform shoes. Nylon, acrylic and polyester were the fabrics of the 70s with unisex clothes being manufactured.
1980s: This decade brought us some of the big name designers such as Anne Klein, Vivian Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino and John Galliano. Men began wearing the latest garments produced by these designers, wearing long hair and other crazy hair dos – like Mohawks. Leather and studded jean jackets were in and the pastel t shirt under a blazer was also in, with loafers and no socks!
1990s: Fashion was very much fitting with the word ‘retro’, with vintage second hand clothes shopping doing well. Everyone wanted to create a unique look, which saw the popularization of gothic and cyber punk styles. Men were no longer sticking to one particular fashion, as there were all sorts to choose from depending on individual tastes. Accessories for men were also becoming very popular and often stocked in shops everywhere as it became more acceptable and common for them to wear.
2000s – Present: Since the turn of the millennium, fashion has been a mixture of all elements incorporating the baggy pants of the 20s, casual shirts of the 40s, shoes of the 70s, and elements from all other eras! Men are more comfortable about being selective in what they wear and are freely able to express themselves with what they wear. There are not particular patterns and fabrics that stand out like other decades. The modern day sees various trends come, peak, go and maybe even reborn in a different way. Large men’s clothing has become available on a wider scale, where in the past it may have been harder to get hold of – especially in a preferred fit, style, pattern etc. Stores like Manshop have created a service to support the larger man.