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A Brief History of Men's Fashion

We’ve said it time and time again, men's wear is ruled by history and tradition. Every person in menswear (designer, stylist, editor, etc) has taken inspiration from the past at one time or another. And no era has been overlooked.

Therefore, as we continue to explore the foundations of personal style, I thought we’d take a quick look back at the last hundred-or-so years in men’s fashion. Perhaps this will provide a little insight or context as to how menswear shifts, and more importantly, how we can make informed decisions when it comes to buying clothing and developing personal style.

LATE 1800S: LAST OF THE VICTORIANS

As the nineteenth century came to an end men were slowly shaking-off the Victorian influence which still had them wearing tophats, frock coats, and pocket watches while carrying walking sticks. This may seem like an elaborate and restrictive way to dress, but it was a big step in the right direction considering the Georgian period that proceeded it had men wearing feathers, panty hose, and high heels. And you thought you were a “dandy”.

1900S: TALL, LONG & LEAN

As we moved into the 1900s men’s clothing was predominantly utilitarian and rather unimaginative. The long, lean, and athletic silhouette of the late 1890s persisted, and tall, stiff collars characterize the period. Three-piece suits consisting of a sack coat with matching waistcoat and trousers were worn, as were matching coat and waistcoat with contrasting trousers, or matching coat and trousers with contrasting waistcoat. Sounds familiar, right? Trousers were shorter than before, often had “turn-ups” or “cuffs“, and were creased front and back using the newly-invented trouser press.

After the war (which introduced numerous classic menswear designs which are still used today, like trench coats and cargos), business started to pick-up and Americans had more money. More money allowed them to travel more and broaden their horizons culturally and aesthetically. Many crossed the Atlantic to England and France. Naturally they returned with suitcases full of the latest fashions being worn overseas.

Of all the countries, England had the most influence on American menswear. In the 1920s American college students began putting their own spin on pieces being worn at the legendary Oxford University, including button-down shirts, natural-shouldered jackets, regimental ties, and colorful argyle socks. Furthermore, the Prince of Wales, who later became the Duke of Windsor, was the world’s most important and influential menswear figure. Through newsreels, newspapers, and magazines the elegant Prince became the first international “style icon” and became widely known and renowned for his impeccable taste in clothing. He was a legitimate trendsetter for every day people and it was the first time in history that clothing advertisers would use a celebrity face to sell clothing, shamelessly plugging their items “as worn by the Prince”.

3 BENEFITS TO WEARING SILK SCARVES VS COTTON SCARVES

If you're confused by whether a silk scarf is better than a cotton scarf, then you will want to be able to weight the pros and cons of silk and cotton scarves. In this post, you will find our list of benefits and drawbacks of wearing a silk scarf over a cotton scarf.

1. SILK WILL NOT IRRITATE YOUR SKIN

First of all, silk will not irritate your skin. Silk is much more delicate than cotton. The roughness of cotton can sometimes cause or worsen pimples.

This is in part due to the fact that silk is hydrophobic, meaning it does not hold water well. Cotton absorbs the moisture it is exposed to. That is why wearing cotton can cause acne, as cotton clothing retains oils that creates pimples. But moisture rolls right off of silk.

2. SILK IS HYPOALLERGENIC

Another benefit of silk is that silk is hypoallergenic. Silk resists dust, mold, and fungus. You are unlikely to have an allergic reaction to wearing silk.

3. SILK IS A FASHIONABLE, LUXURY MATERIAL

Last but not least, silk fabrics shine in a way cotton cannot match. This makes silk an excellent choice for showing brilliant colours and artistic patterns.

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