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Off the Cuff Blog

A Suit That Fits Blog

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Tag >> 1950's fashion
With Mad Men 7 approaching, it's time to start thinking about the kind of jacket that will help you make a statement. In my opinion, there's no better way to make a statement than with plaid. Don Draper's casual look is just as fashionable as his office wear and yours should be too.
A plaid jacket can be worn casual with slacks and loafers for a 1950s gentleman look or dressed up with trousers and shoes for a dandyesque vibe. Of course, in this day and age there's something a bit hipsterish about garish plaids. If you want to go for less of an ironic statement, choose a simple plaid like our brown and pale blue below. Don Draper's decision to break out a casual plaid blazer at a house party in 2012 caused an internet sensation. The Hollywood Reporter called it a freak out and reminded us all that the plaid sports coat was cutting-edge fashion back in the 1950s. Since men in those days wore highly formal suits to the office, they wanted something fun to kick back in on their off time.
Let's follow their example by leaving a space in our wardrobe for more fun fabrics and designs like plaid. Instead of just wearing a leather jacket at the weekend, invest in plaid to create a Mad Men-style sensation in your own life. Don Draper would be pleased. .
Despite mega-stardom, Mark Wahlberg has never really gone in for that ber-stylish Hollywood look. He remains a Boston boy at heart. So don't expect him to wear a skinny-fit, European-style suit any time soon: this Dorchester boy likes old school, masculine, regular fit suits.
The suit has a kind of old-fashioned, '50s aura about it that suits Wahlberg to a T. The jacket may be just a tiny bit long and the look in general is hardly current, but who cares about passing fashion trends when you can look this great? Sartorial perfection has got nothing on that old-school, Bostonian charm. Inspired? Click on Get the Look below for a bold, black, pinstripe suit by A Suit That Fits. If you're going for a relaxed look similar to Wahlberg's own, style it with a regular fit. Notice how the peaked lapels and wide pinstripes create the effect of a sartorial era gone by. This is a nostalgic suit, perfect for those who like their fashion to be masculine and who refuse to bow to the pressure of the slim or skinny fit.
Complete the look with a plain black leather belt, regular tie and plain toe shoes. Also, forget about the pocket square: this suit needs as little embellishment as possible. .
In 1958, a group of young men in East London began to adopt a new smooth, stylish, sophisticated new look. This was the emergence of the quintessential Mod suit.
Scooters were chosen over motorbikes because scooters' use of body panelling and concealed moving parts made them cleaner and less likely to stain an expensive suit with grease. Scootering led to the wearing of military parkas to protect costly suits and trousers from mud and rain.
As I was only invented in 1984, my view of 1950's fashion is very influenced by 'Grease' and 'Happy Days', both fictional settings that, I understand from my Dad, are not that accurate. Yes there were Marlon/'The Fonz'/Zuko types around, complete with white tee, leather jacket, blue jeans and a motor bike, but the majority of gentleman were wearing the same thing.
The conformity of menswear dominated the decade; the 'businessman' look was worn by men everywhere in the UK, grey charcoal or dark blue flannel single breasted two piece suits, white shirt and plain earthy coloured tie. Men were very rarely seen without a hat on and most gentleman worn an overcoat also. Women were aspiring to the 'Golden age of fashion' with fashion houses such a Christian Dior and Pucci taking centre stage in the 1950's, however gentlemen of the decade aspired to conform, a trend rather nicely portrayed in 'The man with the gray flannel suit' starring Gregory Peck. Before the 1950's there was no such this as a teenager and young adults wore clothes of very similar styles to adults.
This meant that in the 1950's young people had an urge to be non-conformist. With stars like Elvis, Marlon Brando and James Dean coming into mainstream this gave 'teenagers' a fashion and music scene to idolise and adopt one could even argue that this is a form of conformism as well. Stemming from this saw the birth of 'The Teddy Boy', another trend of 1950's Britain. Teddy's wore longer jackets, sometimes with a contrasting collar, white or black shirt with a string tie, straight leg trousers and brocade waistcoat. Teddy's made the D.A hairstyle popular (a slightly uncouth acronym I shall leave unexplained), a hair-do that made the teddy boy look so iconic. To see my version of the 1950's suit click here . We have a large selection of flannel fabrics here to choose from. It must be accompanied with a white shirt and an overcoat.
See my teddy white shirt. Accompany this with a serious hairstyle!
Every time I read a book on men's style, I underline facts I don't know. Over the past few years, the number of underlinings in my books (and magazines) has got mercifully less. Fewer defaced volumes on the shelf.
And a history not only contains more facts, those facts come with quotes, anecdotes and supporting evidence. I'd heard most of the stories about Edward VII, for example, but I didn't know this quote from German Chancellor, Prince von Bulow: In the country in which unquestionably the gentlemen dressed best, he was the best-dressed gentlemen.
Equally, I knew Edward's innovations included the dinner jacket, wearing tweeds at the races and leaving open the button of a waistcoat. But I didn't know he was also responsible for the black Homburg hat, shorter tails on evening wear and turn-ups on trousers (to protect the bottoms from muddy ground).
I shall endeavour to scatter some facts from Sharp Suits throughout future posts. But for the moment here's a few to be getting on with:
A 1960 inventory of the Duke of Windsor's wardrobe listed 15 evening suits, 55 lounge suits and three formal suits (all with two pairs of trousers).
By 1849 Brooks Brothers had 1,500 people making its clothes, and could put a claim to being the first company to offer ready-made clothing.
After the Second World War there were approximately 100,000 tailors working in Italy, dressing around 85% of the adult population. And yet it was the Italians that became the leading manufacturers of ready-made suits in the modern era.
Hickey Freeman's greatest innovation was to bring the various parts of suit production into a single factory. Up until then different tailors worked on different parts of a suit in different locations, often at home.
The innovation of Hart Schaffner Marx (which bought Hickey) was to offer proportioned suits with basic body types tall, short, stout and thin.
Pierre Cardin was arguably the most influential menswear designer of the twentieth centuryhe changed attitudes to dress in men who had relatively little interest in their appearance Colin McDowell. Cardin ruined this reputation with astonishingly promiscuous licensing.
The hottest trend of 1962 was the suit silhouette worn by a group of public school boys that gathered around Le Drugstoe, a caf on the Champs Elyses in Paris. They went to Marina, an old tailor on Rue Vernier in the seventeenth arondissement, who was the first to cut flat-fronted, wide-bottomed trousers with small cuffs known as marinettes.
I'm done. More reading to do now.

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