1920s style

The decline and fall of hat wearing

The English historian Edward Gibbon attributed the decline and fall of the once ubiquitous Roman Empire to the gradual, enervating loss of martial dedication and civic discipline among its citizenry. In a way, the Romans did not keep up the appearances required of an enduring civilization. Put simply, the slipping of standards led to the …

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1920s style: Sartorial lessons from The Broadway Melody

The Broadway Musical (1929) was the first talking musical for MGM as well as for Hollywood. The men’s suits were almost assuredly bespoke and you will see superb examples of formalwear (below, Charles King and Anita Page) and “lounge suits” (i.e. business suits in modern nomenclature) across a variety of physiques. Take double-breasted suits for …

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The well-dressed past: A sporting event in 1925

The occasion: US President Calvin Coolidge congratulating Washington Senator ace pitcher Walter Johnson on winning the 1924 American League baseball championship. At a distance, the first thing to notice is the sea of straw boater hats. If you click on the image for the hi-res version (and click again to magnify), you’ll notice a few …

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Style as evolution v. static equilibrium

Despite the efforts of provocative designers such as Thom Browne and Kris van Assche, the contemporary Western male is largely conservative regarding color, pattern and cut. We are perhaps the logical culmination of the Great Austerity in men’s clothing that began with Beau Brummell’s simplification of gentlemanly dress in the early 1800s. Of course there …

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