It is no secret that the twentieth century AD saw more changes in the fashion industry than had ever been seen in preceding centuries. A number of clothing trends have gone down in history as a symbol of a specific period or even decade. Bell-bottoms, for instance, are an eternal sign of the 1970s, while the 1980s will always be remembered for shoulder pads in case nothing else! However, the evolution of men’s suits also betrays a different sense of social history – one that’s too strong to be overlooked.
However, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had a deep effect on men’s formalwear as there were severe cutbacks in the way clothes were manufactured and less people purchased them. Men’s suits at the 1930s were changed in style to produce their wearers appear to have wider torsos and squarer shoulders, while the double-breasted suit started to become popular as well.
With low-waisted, wide-legged and tightly-cuffed trousers and a long coat, Zoot Suits were primarily popularized by young African-Americans and Hispanic Americans, before the War Production Board branded them as”unsuccessful” in 1942 and banned their additional generation. The style persisted until the 1950s, however, when men’s suits evolved into something more business-like and guys everywhere began to wear thin pants with single breasted coats – an authoritative style that reflected the role men were suddenly expected to play post-war society and was largely influenced by the”demob match” awarded to soldiers at the end of the war.
However, the course of the late 1950s and the 1960s saw the dawn of a subculture that was to play with an undeniable influence in the evolution of men’s suits for years to come – mod culture. Peaking in London in the mid 1960s, those called as”mods” became famous for technology key cultural and style trends in the UK and male mods donned slim-cut Italian suits – a clothing style that soon became a hallmark of the age. Since the mod movement continued to shift, a new mod lawsuit came into being – which saw three-button suits twinned with shirts, braces and often Dr Marten boots. Indeed, although mod culture began to decline in the 1960s, giving way to the hippie fashion of the anti-war campaigners, the crucial characteristics of this mod suit continued to survive and still plays a significant part in the development of the lawsuit now.
In the 1970s, bell-bottom suits became a frequent characteristic as disco reigned supreme – and women began wearing men’s style suits also! Nevertheless, the 1980s saw an additional turning point in the evolution of men’s suits. As a new breed of young professionals started to emerge with large bank balances as well as an eye for that which was trendy, first-rate fashion designers began to cater for the’yuppie’ in a means that was not seen before, and the concept of the’power suit’ was born.