Now that Americans can sleep a little easier at night as the risk of falling off the fiscal cliff has been avoided, we can now turn our attention to the important matter of Sartorial Elegance for the New Year!
Published August 10th, 2011 by George Rayner
Although never meant to be a fashion statement, just a method of hiding their guns in public, the 1930s gangsters did start a fashion craze. Though not until a good 30 to 40 years had passed and the movies and television started to popularise the wild days of the American prohibition and the men on both sides of the law then, Elliott Ness and Al Calpone to name but two. Even then it was a mystery why the double breasted suit – because in actuality the gangsters usually wore single breasted suits as it was easier to draw their guns from the shoulder or hip holsters that they wore.
This photo of Humphrey Bogart, taken at just a few scant years after prohibition had been passed up as a bad idea and you can see what has become the iconic ‘Gangster’ suit of the 1990-2010. The dark brown wide chalk strip double breasted suit with wide lapels and a long opening and a boxy shorter jacket, the trousers were east fitting with a tendency to have turn-ups (although the one styled above does not).
Although the gangster preferred the double breasted suit, the law keepers still stuck to the single breasted with waistcoats ( Elliot Ness played by Kevin Cosnier) or just a casual jacket and contrasting trousers (as worn by Sean Connery’s Charter) as seen here in a still from the film ‘The Untouchables’.
A contemporary photo of Al Calpone and gang member circa 1934 note the waistcoats, double breasted jackets and wide legged Oxford bag style of trousers.
And here we have Johnny Depp bringing the whole look up to date in this stylish dark brown two piece, with slanting flapless pockets and slanting breast welt (or pocket).
A really modern and stylish take on the 1930s original.
Published July 19th, 2011 by George Rayner
Statesmen and film stars were the main fashion trend-setters in the 1960s, especially during the early years. Internationally known figures had the widest following.