1920s and 1930s Gangster Suits: "Classic" Mens Fashion 

Look at 1920s and 1930s gangster suits and you'll be convinced, a custom suit is the most stylish piece of clothing you can wear. 

Men's suits owe much of their current look to the changes in fashion during the 1920s and 1930s.

In the late twenties, men's suits went through a metamorphosis from the thin structured suits that had been worn for far too long, to the newer more "natural" cuts and finer fabrics we see in the suits of high fashion movie stars and the gangsters of fashion's Golden Age.

Gangster Suit StylingsGangster Suit Stylings

"There Goes Al"

Even 70 years after his death people still talk of Al Capone as a stylish gangster in the era of stylish gangsters.

Capone owes much of his reputation to his suits.

Yells and screams could be heard as Capone and his armored car entourage rolled through the streets of Chicago.

Capone was always decked out in a custom, top-of-the-line suit; when the best suit cost $85 Capone would buy 20 suits at $135 apiece. 

To this suit he would add a Raccoon coat, matching silk tie and handkerchief, a canary yellow or green silk shirt, Italian glove silk undies, a cream colored borsalino wide-brimmed hat, a big black cigar, and of course his $50,000 11.5-carat Jagersfontein diamond ring.

(Info thanks to Mr. Capone by Robert Schoenberg)

Few men can do 1930s gangster suits as BIG as Al Capone, but you can do it as well as Capone.

Most gangsters and movie stars could easily afford to buy the finest quality suits, hire the best tailors, and put together the best accessories, but the rest of us who admire the style, don't often have the dinero to drop five figures on an outfit.

Putting The Gangster Look Together: Suit Style in the 1920s

Get Your Fit First The biggest key to wearing a suit well is getting the right size and cut to match your frame and the look you're going for.

Go try on some suits, find your size, find out what you like and don't like first before making a purchase. The difference between a 40L and a 42S will make or break your look, so know where you're at for size.

A tailor can fix many flaws, but help yourself out by getting the right fit if you're buying your suit off the rack. 

Quality Suit Tip:

If you can,always unbutton the lowest button on your coat's sleeves. Sleeves that unbutton are a sure sign of a quality suit.

Note: Be honest with yourself. Suits don't lie, only people who wear them. Don't try to be bigger or smaller than you are. If your are swimming in the suit, or getting strangled by it--it doesn't fit!

If getting the best price on your suit is important to you, and you are trying to decide between material and how the suit fits, take the suit that fits you best over the type of material every time!

Thin Guys should buy suits that are cut narrowly, with small or no shoulder pads, thin lapels, and narrower trouser legs.

On the other hand, bigger guys should try to find suits that fill out their shoulders in order to give their rounder bodies more shape and structure.

One Breast or Two?

Usually I'd say two (if you know what I'm sayin'). Personally I prefer a single breasted suit, two button suit. But, when it comes to getting the right "look" for your 1920s and 1930s gangster suit, a double breasted is the only way to go.


When choosing material and color to put together the gangster suit look, I recommend getting a solid color suit especially if you're going for the "Capone" look. The suit should be a light type of fabric (no tweed or thick English wool here), and hues of blue, brown, or grey.

The ever popular black or pinstripe tends to look bankerish, but can be made to look great if you use the right accessories. Especially a nice chalk stripe suit would be great?

More coming about 1920s and 1930s gangster suits. 

The Influence of  1930s Gangster SuitsThe Influence of 1930s Gangster Suits