Many might argue – Why are men’s clothes so boring? I’ll tell you that, it’s because men as a whole are unwilling to push the boundaries of fashion for themselves. It’s fascinating to go back in time and see what was in style then and just how far we’ve come. Itching for a bit of time travel? Let’s go then. I did some digging – from tailcoats to zoot suits to bell bottom pants and everything in between. Men’s fashion isn’t as boring as you thought it would be.
So, let’s begin at the beginning –
1900s: Tall, Long and Lean – Men’s clothing was predominantly utilitarian and rather unimaginative. The long, lean, and athletic silhouette of the late 1890s persisted and tall stiff detachable collars, yes! Detachable! Three-piece suits, charcoal, blacks and navy colors characterized this period.
1930s: Height of Elegance – This period saw The Great Depression. The average man could not afford to partake in the world of fashion but the taste level of men was still at peak around this time. It was a time when men dressed with certain codes of conduct and etiquettes. They followed “The Menswear Rules“. The best dressed period, so to say.
1960s: Rebellion and Individuality – It was a decade of rebellion and unrest in the west. The clothing also reflected this new attitude, the youth were more concerned with self expression and individuality than dressing by “The Rulebook”. The clothing industry also offered a plethora of styles. Stores carried more variety than ever.
1970s: The Disco Funk – The Hippie rebel fashion continued – for men, this particularly meant bell bottom pants, tie dye shirts and military surplus clothing. The accessories like homemade necklaces, headbands, bracelets were a total fad.
1990s: Baggy Business Casuals – This may be perhaps the worst dressed decade of them all. There was a popularization of the casual chic look – this included T-Shirts, distressed jeans, oversized hoodies and trainers. And hence, the “Business Casual” entered the lexicon.
2000s: Hip Hop and European Tailoring – Menswear in the new millennium was primarily influenced by Hip Hop culture for the youth and the European “Slim Fit” tailoring for the older lot. The internet also made it easier for men to learn about menswear and share their opinions also.
2010s: The Modernity Around – Men’s choices started to shift more towards casual looks with an added class. Air Jordans, athleisure, Off Whites and even non-prescription glasses rocked the market. The early 2010s experienced revival of 2000s prep style, along with an exponential rise in fast fashion and globalization.
Over the past 100 years menswear has been influenced by music, war, the economy, women’s fashion, cars, gangs, celebrities, sports, and so much more, that too way before any of us were even born. So, to say, men’s fashion, It’s not that boring after all.