What Was Menswear Like In The 20s?

The 1920s saw the beginning of the Jazz Age, a period of prosperity and optimism. This time marked the transition from Victorian values to modernity.

What Was Menswear Like In The 20s

Men wore suits and ties, women wore dresses and hats, and everyone enjoyed dancing at parties and clubs.

But what did they wear? Let’s dive into the world of the 20s and find out exactly what fashion was like for men at the time.

Why Was The 20s Style So Distinct?

The 1920s marked a transition period for men’s clothing.

From the turn of the century, men’s fashion (Check out 80s Ideas For Men’s Fashion) had been dominated by tailoring, with tailored trousers that had a flap opening instead of the generalized zip fastenings we know today, and long coats reaching down to the ankles.

This trend continued into the early 20th century, with most men wearing tailored clothes.

Now, the ’20s came just after the first World War, and just after the spike of the Spanish Flu pandemic that lasted two years during 1918, and this is where the roaring 20s name comes from. 

The war ended, and the time came for lavish partying to celebrate. Naturally, the time for a change of fashion was appropriate. 

It’s quite common for fashion to alter with life-changing events because the same things happened with World War II. The distinct 50s style (Check out How To Dress Like The 50s With Jeans) kicked in with the change of life returning to a sense of normality after the rationing period. 

Each decade was a period of change, and the 20s paved the way for the fashion movement in terms of how we know it today. 

What Was The Fit Like For Menswear In The ’20s?

The 1920s saw some significant changes in men’s fashion. The popularity of jazz music led to the rise of informal wear such as sports coats, sweaters, and short skirts.

There was also a return to wearing ties during the day and a move away from the stiff formality of the Edwardian era.

In the early 1920s, men wore three different types of jackets. A morning coat (also called a lounge suit), a dinner jacket, and a tuxedo. Morning coats were worn daily and could be worn over a suit or even under a sports coat.

Dinner jackets were usually reserved for special occasions, like weddings, balls, and parties. They replaced the long tails of the previous century. Black was still the preferred color, although many people switched to light gray or tan.

Tuxedos gained popularity in the 1920s. They were originally designed for men attending black tie events but eventually became popular among businessmen and socialites.

The tuxedo had several advantages over the previous style. 

It eliminated the need for multiple layers of clothing, and it offered greater freedom of movement. 

Tuxedos were less expensive than a separate suit, and they were easy to put on and take off. They were also more versatile than the previous styles, and they were a great way to make a statement about one’s wealth. 

Trousers And Pants

In the early 1900s, men’s slim-cut trousers were still very much a rarity. They were either baggy or tight-fitting. 

In fact, it wasn’t until the 1920s that men began wearing (Also check out What Did Men Wear In The 80s?) slimmer-cut trousers. These trousers were usually worn with suspenders or braces.

Men’s trousers during the time had individual inverted style pleats and a flat front, the pleats had a sharp crease down the center of the front legs and slit pockets were popular on the side seams, as well as welt pockets at the back. 

In the 1920s, men’s slim-leg trousers with fabrics were often worn with a 2-inch fold-up cuff. This style of trousers became popular among men during the 1920s.

Waistcoats And Suit Vests

The term “waistcoat” comes from the fact that it was worn around the chest and was fitted around the waist. 

In the early 20th century, vests were typically worn over a shirt and tie, often with a coat or blazer thrown over the top. They were sometimes referred to as waistcoats because they were usually worn around the waist.

Men’s clothing during the 1920s was very different from what we see today. Men wore three pieces of clothing; a jacket, pants, and a vest. Jackets were worn open or closed depending on the weather. 

The pants were long and baggy with elastic waists. Vest styles ranged from single-breasted to double-breasted with pleated fronts.

Fashion Headwear

The 1920s saw the introduction of many different types of hats. Some were designed to be worn outdoors, while others were meant to be worn indoors. All men, all classes, and even women had hats.

They were worn year-round but typically were replaced with straw hats in the Spring and Summer. Hats made of felt were popular and were often shaped into different personalities.

Hollywood stars like Rudolph Valentino, W S Hart, and Douglas Fairbank used hats to express their individuality. 

During the era, the hat became associated with class and status. A man wearing a bowler hat might signal his wealth and position, while a man wearing a flat cap might signal his working-class status.

Jackets And Overcoats

The 1920s saw the rise of the classic overcoat. Men wore both long and short coats, often in black or brown. They could be worn with or without a matching suit and were commonly paired with fedoras.

A popular style during the decade was the double-breasted overcoat, which had one or two large pockets inside each breast pocket. This style became very popular among college men. Popular colors included navy blue, dark green, tan, gray, brown, and olive drab.

In the 1920s, many manufacturers began offering double-breasted styles, which offered greater versatility. These coats were usually lined with silk, satin, velvet, or even flannel. 

Bow Ties And Neck Ties

The 1920s saw a shift away from the stiff white collars and neck scarves (cravats) favored in the 19th century toward softer styles. As a result, men began wearing neckties.

They could choose from a variety of patterns including solid, striped, checked, polka dot, or floral designs.

The most popular style was the bow tie. This was worn both alone and tied around the neck. The bow tie was often paired with a matching pocket square.

Final Thoughts

Men’s suits in the 1920s were very similar to what we see today. However, there were some subtle differences. 

For example, men wore more casual clothing and less formal attire. Also, they wore fewer accessories such as watches, cuff links, ties, and pocket squares.

Willa Price

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