The Classic Styles: Mens Fashion of the 1920s

Mens fashion of the 1920s showed a a sharp and unique contrast to those of the previous decades. 

At the end of WWI, men came home to find their closets full of clothes that were outdated. The soldiers returned to the "Edwardian" and Victorian wardrobes they had left before the war.

These clothes didn't reflect the progress of technology, marketing, and individualism that marks the 1920s as a unique decade in American history.

Men's fashion changed rapidly as the 1920's progressed. It moved away from the stuffy conservative suits of the previous fashion eras, to a more "masculine" and individualistic approach to men's suits. 

The Sacque Suit

Though during the early parts of the decade men still wore the very structured slim sacque suits that had been popular with gentlemen since the mid-1800's.

These suits were ill-fitted from uncomfortable fabrics, they weren't good at maximizing the shape of a man's body. The shoulders were narrow, the sleeves were often too short, the trousers also didn't lend themselves to comfort.

The Re-invention of Menswear

Look through the photographs of the 1920s and you will see the progress of menswear in the 1920s.

Men became "fashion conscious" due in part to the quickly developing marketing departments at retailers like Montgomery Wards and Sears, plus Hollywood movies displayed dashing leading men like Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Al Jolson, and Charlie Chaplin.

Men were becoming sex symbols for the first time. And with the rapidly developing flapper culture the sheiks needed to keep up with the shiebas. 

Men Embraced Fashion-Forwardness

Up until the 1920s, loose pants were considered no-nos for men, loose fitting pants were reserved for the ladies. This was due mainly because of Valentino's role in the film The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, says of mens fashion of the 1920s.

Men copied the stylish stars of the time in dress, hair, and attitude, much in the same way they still emulate stars like Brad Pitt or George Clooney. 

Men's Suits

As the sacque suit went the ways of the dodo bird, new suit styles popped up around the Jazz scene in Chicago and the business districts in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Suits shoulders filled out, giving men a more masculine appearance, trousers were better fitted and a little baggier allowing men's legs to breathe.

Pinstripes came into fashion thanks to men like Capone and his ilk, plus business people like bankers, lawyers and investors liked the look of the "power suit." 

Men's Fashion of the 1920s Through the Years 

The 1920s are famous for the debauchery and the progress that was made during the decade. Because of this and the colorful characters, many movie makers have used the Roaring Twenties as a back-drop for their narratives.

These movies are wonderful places to get inspiration for your next outfit or costume. Usually the on-set costumer is very knowledgeable about the period and definitely is up to speed on what looks right and what doesn't.

Follow the clues to find the right 1920s men's fashions.