If you’re looking for the golden age of men’s fashion, you don’t have to look further than the 1920s. This decade was a time when fashion took a turn from the conservative, old styles into a new era of fashion.
Although the early 20s didn’t see much in the way of new fashions, when you think of the dapper suits and dresses of the 20s, many of those styles were products of the later part of the decade.
Regardless, many of the most popular men’s fashion styles today are still modeled from the fashion of that decade.
Fashion to that point had been some of the same suit styles over and over, with no casual clothing anywhere to be found. The 20s saw many radical suit styles as well as the introduction of casual and sporty dress for men. The formality of dress lessened, and clothing encompassed more choice and more fashion forward options.
If you are looking to up your fashion game, you can’t go wrong with mastering 1920s style. It was an effortless, classy era of men’s fashion that paved the way for many of our more modern styles. So let’s start from the top.
1. Dress shirts
The dress shirt is an essential staple of 1920s men’s fashion. Tall, white detachable collars reigned king in the world of fashion thanks to their ease of laundering.
In the mid-1920s attached collars became the preferred standard. Attached collars offered a softer feel in comparison to the rigid and uncomfortable nature of detachable collars. For inspiration, see Nucky Thompson from the TV show Boardwalk Empire.
Collar styles at the time included both round edge club, spread and pointed. Though, you should know that spread collars were greatly influence by the introduction of the wide Windsor tie knot. Soft point was reserved for button down shirts. Wing tip collars were a common sight amount even wearing with bent over points to allow for bow ties.
Shirt cuffs included French and double.
Collar pins which were quite popular during the 1920s, were placed through eyelet holes.
See the best dress shirts for men here.
Upper Class: Top hat and homburg hat.
Middle Class: Bowler Hat, trilby hat, and fedora.
Summer (Middle and upper class): Straw boater
Working-Class: Flat cap and newsboy cap.
Hats in the 20s depended largely on which class you belonged to. Remember the movies about page boys and factory workers from that time? Working class men wore the “page boy” style hats, called newsboy caps or flat caps.
If you were solidly middle class, you would have owned a fedora hat. Those fedoras were holdovers from the gangster styles, working class or middle class men coming into sudden money, but keeping the style associated with their own class.
Fedora style was also accompanied by bowler hats, another 20s movie staple. These ubiquitous styles belonged to fashion conscious middle class fellows, looking to shake up fashion. It was the first time that middle class citizens were able to use material goods to express who they were. Fashion became a statement for the first time for regular people.
During summer vacations, you would wear a straw hat.
If you were upper class, you retained the top hat style. Another type of upper class hat is something called a Homburg, a felt hat with a single crease at the crown and a rolled edge. If you look at pictures of past presidents, a few wore this style even up to the 1950s.
Regardless of style, the one common denominator is wearing a hat. Mastering 20s style is essential to bringing back the class and dignity of that era of dress. Although hats have fallen out of favor in recent years, wearing a well-fitting, well-made hat will make or break your look.
Listen close: another secret to mastering the style and grace of 20s fashion is the suit. Men’s fashion today is a combination of athletic clothing and ill fitting jeans. You need to step far away from such casual menswear and begin to take pride in your suit fittings.
Suits were a central part of the 20s man’s fashion. Although it retained some of the classic fashion of the past, changes in cut and material lent it a modern, jazz-age flair. 1920s suits have influenced menswear ever since, from the 1940s zoot suit to tighter-fitting modern styles.
Formal suits still came in black as the standard color. However, the long tails of previous decades were replaced with the tuxedo, and most men wore a crisp white shirt underneath.
Overall, formality still ruled men’s fashion. Though more casual styles began appearing, the formality of previous decades carried over.
Lighter colors for formal suits denoted the wearer’s social status. Lighter colors, such as nudes and white, were favored by the wealthy. Wearing colors that could easily be stained suggested that the wearer’s bank account could handle ruining such fabric.
Pinstripes were also common. White collar workers frequently wore pinstripes as a sign of financial status.
The material and the fit set apart suit fashion from that time period. Before, suits were heavy, uncomfortable things from fabrics that were expensive and difficult to clean. Although suits now are far more comfortable than those of the 20s, the suits from that decade were a huge improvement in terms of material and fit.
Suits of the 20s were made of wool or a tweed blend. Though you might be dying thinking of wearing a wool suit now, this was a more comfortable material than what men had to choose from back then.
Suit jackets were single or double breasted. Suits made earlier in the decade favored a slim, fitted style, while suits from later in the period adopted the boxy style most commonly seen in gangster pictures.
If you look at suit lapels, even this small detail represented a departure from styles of previous eras. There were three or four buttons, and the lapels began above the buttons around the center of the chest. This type of high lapel was quite different than jacket styles before the 20s, in which lapels came further down around the abdomen area.
The lapel also featured a single button hole towards the top meant to hold a flower arrangement, known as a boutonnière.
Patterns were another popular feature of suits. If you remember the style of barbershop quartets, the checked and striped look is quite similar to what men were wearing then. Solid colors included browns and greens, and colors on the cool side, blues and grays.
Add a pocket square to make your suit more customized.
Cold weather dictated an overcoat. This type of coat reached well below the knee and was made of thick material such as wool. It was meant to be worn over the entire suit.
They featured several deep inner pockets, and the outer material was very heavy. There wasn’t much need for lining.
Another fashion trend at this time was the leather jacket. Leather jacket styles featured both fur collars and plain. They also had pockets and buttoned up the front. At times, a built-in belt wrapped around the waist. Unlike overcoats, they usually had a lining, typically fur.
A major trend of the time among ivy-league college students was wearing thick, full-length wearing raccoon fur coats. The fad was short lived, but it would later become a staple to Jazz Age era of fashion. In 1928, George Olsen recorded a song with lyrics covering the trend; it was titled, “Doin’ the Raccoon.”
The cost for a luxury raccoon jacket back then was around three to four-hundred dollars. In today’s times with inflation, the price would be around four-grand. Perhaps you can see why the trend of these fur coats was so popular. Their opulent price tag made them extremely desirable.
Part of the look of the 20s suit is achieved by wearing a vest. Vests aren’t as popular now, but they were essential to the overall twenties style. Vests streamlined the center of the body and highlighted the high lapel that was so in fashion.
Men would have a double breasted vest that came up high and fit snug. They would wear this with a single breasted jacket. This was a particularly common look among young men influenced by the styles of the modern art movement.
The twenties was a time of great variety for pant styles. Both straight and wide-legged pants were common, and for pants of a traditional length it was common to see “turn-ups.” This was seen in a wide bottom cuff, literally “turned up” from the bottom of the pant hem. The waist band came far higher than the wearer’s natural waist.
Another type of trouser commonly associated with the 20s were knickerbockers. These were baggy trousers worn in casual settings such as for golf or other sports. The knees were gathered, and they were typically worn with some kind of bright sock.
An offshoot of knickerbockers was a style called “plus-fours.” These were the same loose-fitting, gathered at the knee style, but they reached about 4 inches further down below the knee. Popular with golfers, they allowed for more freedom of movement when playing the sport. “Plus twos” were also available.
Overall, American style preferred baggier trouser styles, whether full length or the shortened knickerbockers. Men in the workplace had no need for casual golfing style, but they still preferred baggier full length trousers. These had plenty of material through the hip and thigh.
Many institutions banned plus fours and knickerbockers in an effort to reign in the casual styles of fashion. Although famous universities like Oxford required long pants, and knickerbockers didn’t survive to present times, the advent of more casual men’s fashion couldn’t be prevented.
Even the colors became brighter and more casual. Previously, solid or muted colors were most of the choices for men, but with the popularity of sports styles, patterns like stripes and checks as well as lighter colors became popular. This was attributed to the rise of the middle class, and the affluence of society in the post World War I age.
One huge change that happened in the 20s was the emergence of color in shoes. Previous styles had been single color shoes, but in the 20s we see the wingtip style so associated with the jazz age.
They were a little more casual than previous decades’ single color spats, but they introduced flair into men’s footwear. Shoes could be two tone, with white and brown or black being the most popular colors.
Wingtips made an entrance. Although patent leather was still the only formal style shoe available, men began to wear this style with a perforated flap over the lace. This lent shoes an air of artsy design, and signaled that a man was part of the jazz age.
8. Driving Dress Style
With cars becoming more popular, and more affordable, it was only fitting that fashion would reflect a particular fascination with the automobile. Buying a car meant being part of modern times, and the fashion industry was quick to step in.
Clothing created specifically for driving included flat tweed caps, meant to hug the head close and stay on even when driving with an open top. They also wore driving gloves, hold overs from riding gloves, but vented for comfort.
This was also the perfect time for men to wear the new leather jackets made fashionable by Charles Lindbergh. They often included a white scarf as an accessory.
9. Athletic Influence
Previous to the 1920s, men’s fashion was impossibly formal, often requiring several changes per day as formal rules dictated.
The 20s saw some relaxation of formal dress rules for the upper and middle class. The influence of sports and the rise of sports stars caused some casual changes in the men’s fashion of the day.
Golf had a particular impact on men’s fashion. This style was influenced by the required uniforms of sports stars. This included sweaters in clean colors such as white or navy, and cable knits.
For casual pants, men paired these sweaters and knit shirts with the knickerbockers or plus-fours mentioned above.
A note on plus fours: The style popular among male golfers of the 1920s, allowed for easier movements on the course. They featured a four-inch lower drop below the knees in comparison to knickerbockers. Players wore them alongside argyle socks, which featured a classic diamond pattern. Gentlemen also paired the look with dress shirts, sweaters and silk neckties.
The casual and loosely fitting style came about after Edward, Prince of Wales made a diplomatic trip to America in 1924.
Fashion wouldn’t be fashion if we didn’t mention hair. Clean, close shaven looks dominated the 20s, and hair was still widely influenced by military style.
Men usually wore their hair parted to the side with some kind of pomade to hold it in place. The pomades made the hair glossy, and the hair stayed slicked.
Aside from hats, which were required in fashion, other accessories included suspenders in brighter colors, and around this time waist belts became more popular. As pants slimmed, men preferred these belts to hold them in place.
Other accessories were round framed glasses and sunglasses. Often worn while driving, men frequently paired them with straw hats for driving style.
For more formal wear, and for some of the upper class, bow ties were the ruling fashion. Men combined this style with pocket squares that lent a pop of color.
Men could also wear skinny knit ties in addition to the bow tie. This new style was more casual, and occasions that required semi-formal wear were perfect for this accessory.
Like women’s fashion, men’s swimwear fashion slimmed down to make swimming easier. It featured larger arm holes for ease of movement. They were mostly two pieces, a pair of shorts and a longer tank top that came down just above the end of the shorts.
Sleeves were removed to allow more freedom of movement, and as the decade progressed, it became more common to see slim, sleeveless swim costumes.
In the later 20s, the shirt was shortened, and was usually worn with belted shorts. This was shocking at first, but professional swimmers wore this style until it became more common for everyone.
13. Modernizing These Styles
The 20s remain the hallmark of modern men’s fashion. Many of the suit styles seen today still reflect the changes made during this time period. You don’t have to buy vintage clothing to take advantage of the style.
Keep in mind clean looks in all aspects, hair down to the shoes. Consider buying a well-made, and well fitting hat. Make sure that your shoes are well maintained, and that your suit has at least three pieces, jacket, vest, and trousers. You just can’t go wrong.
1920s men’s fashion still looks great today. You could use this style for formal occasions or for an eye-catching Halloween costume!
The essential part of a man's wardrobe in the 1920s was his suit. At this time, men wore suits everywhere! The three-piece suit with wide lapels and high rise cuffed trousers became incredibly popular in this decade. The suits were often patterned in stripes, plaid, tweed, or plain wool.
Twenties fashion is often remembered for its glitz and glamour, though underlying this was a move toward simplicity in dress. For women, this meant shorter skirts and simple shapes, while men enjoyed casual suits.
During the late 1920s, double-breasted vests, often worn with a single-breasted jacket, also became quite fashionable. During the 1920s, men had a variety of sport clothes available to them, including sweaters and short trousers (commonly known in American English as knickers).
20's fashion revolved around drop-waist dresses with a loose fit that ended below-knee, embellished eveningwear, Mary Jane heels, fur coats, and cloche hats. Sporty tennis sweaters and cardigans were loved by high-society women. 1920s men's fashion included Oxford shoes, newsboy hats, Oxford bags, and plus-fours pants.
The 1920s were also a time for casual dress. As menswear became less regimented, leisure clothes and sportswear made their debut. This meant sweaters, plus-fours, and other wide or baggy pants, workwear pants, jumpers, caps, and an array of accessories people could wear to express themselves.
caps. Shoes: Cap toe Oxfords, two-tone golf oxfords, lace-up boots and sport sneakers. Suspenders: Button on suspenders are very 20s but so were belts with casual trousers. Accessories: Neckties or bow ties, pocket watch or wrist watch, collar pin, arm bands, gloves, scarf, spats, cufflinks.
Art Deco is a popular design style of the 1920s and '30s characterized especially by sleek geometric or stylized forms and by the use of man-made materials. See an example of the Art Deco style adopted for the Chicago Board of Trade building.
Similarly to fashion and art at the time, the primary trend in 1920s home design was Art Deco and Bauhaus inspired, which was materialized through high-sheen metals, geometric shapes and patterns and tiles. Bold, geometric furniture and prints featured heavily in 1920s interior design.
- Art Deco. Bold and exuberant in its style, Art Deco exemplified the excitement of the era. ...
- Flappers. ...
- Jazz. ...
- Precisionism. ...
- Suffrage. ...
- The Harlem Renaissance. ...
- Prohibition. ...
Men were labeled as the authoritative figure in a majority of households in 1920. Men were pressured to work as long and hard as possible during the weekend due to the mother not having a source of income. A father's responsibility was to make the income.
They were called hose garters (socks were actually called hose in the '20s) and made of leather or striped elastic that bound around the upper calf and clipped into the sock. It was trendy to have a matching set of sock garters and suspenders, although both were rarely seen underneath men's clothing.
When it comes to headwear, the 1920s were still quite interesting for men because most everyone wore them. Hat styles hadn't changed much since the Edwardian era, and you still had people wear top hats sometimes. Even the bowler hat was still worn.
But the most important consumer product of the 1920s was the automobile. Low prices (the Ford Model T cost just $260 in 1924) and generous credit made cars affordable luxuries at the beginning of the decade; by the end, they were practically necessities. By 1929 there was one car on the road for every five Americans.
Look in your own closet for anything with beading, sequins, or fringe, or hit the resale store. Add some lavish accessories (many available at costume/party stores) such as a tiara or headband, silk shawl, feather fan, elbow gloves, long pearl necklace, and gold arm bangles.
1)Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
Coco soon became a famed fashion designer as she revolutionised the way women wore clothes, paving a new way for the fashion brand, she, being a fashion icon herself. Her simple but elegant styles changed the course of fashion history.
In the 1920s, men were clean shaven and wore their hair mostly under a hat. However, beneath the hat hair was pin straight, slicked straight back and with a center or side part with the use of Brilliantine to give a high gloss.
1920S MEN'S FASHION: WORKING CLASS
Thick, made-to-last fabrics were a popular choice, like tweed, Donegal and herringbone. They were heavy and warm, often worn with a long overcoat in winter. Baker boy and flat caps were also staples, as were pleated trousers.
Men's 1920s Nightshirts
For going to bed, men had four choices: Nightgown, Pajamas, Underwear, or Nude. The traditional nightshirt, nightgown or nightrobe was ankle length, long sleeved, with a button up military collar or V neckline made of cotton, wool, linen, or flannel.
Hairstyling For Men In The 1920s
Brilliantine was the major hair product of the 1920s. The product was first introduced in 1900 by French perfumer Édouard Pinaud and it soon spread across the world. Brilliantine is a fragrant oil used to soften men's hair and give it a clean, glossy look.
You'll often see authentic 1920s dresses in dusty shades of peach, pink, sage, and yellow, which exuded an attractive and highly feminine look. It's unique color combinations, however, that truly brought these colors to life.
Ladies, think “glitz and glam.” Art deco patterns and colors were all the rage in the 1920s. Try incorporating fringe, beading, gemstones, or feathers into your party attire. No outfit is complete without proper accessorizing! For a true flapper-inspired look, try a beaded or feather headband.
However, in the 1920s, interior and furniture designers embraced the Art Deco movement. Art Deco furniture was more modern and sleeker in design, but incorporated opulent, stylish, and aesthetically driven elements.
The 1920s was a decade of change, when many Americans owned cars, radios, and telephones for the first time. The cars brought the need for good roads. The radio brought the world closer to home. The telephone connected families and friends.
The fashion of the 1920s was influenced by the economic boom after WWI and prohibition/jazz era. Men and women lived a more active lifestyle after the war and needed a wardrobe to match their new way of life.
Women wore less jewelry and the extravagant clothing of the Edwardian era faded away. Simplicity was the driving trend of women's fashion of the 1920s with the development of convenient and modern styles that rejected formality and multiple layers in favor of comfort and a more natural effect.
- Themes Of The Roaring 20s.
- Culture in the twenty's.
- 1920s Technology.
The 1920s was the first decade to have a nickname: “Roaring 20s" or "Jazz Age." It was a decade of prosperity and dissipation, and of jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, bathtub gin, flappers, flagpole sitters, bootleggers, and marathon dancers.
- Speakeasies weren't an invention of the 1920s. ...
- A green door meant a good time. ...
- The government allowed medicinal alcohol. ...
- A poorly done science experiment ended up saving millions of lives. ...
- Brands! ...
- Wall Street was bombed and the perpetrators were never caught.
Did you know that the male equivalent to a flapper is a sheik? Thank the wildly popular 1919 novel The Sheik by E.M. Hull which was turned into a wildly popular film starring heartthrob Rudolph Valentino. These men had slicked-back hair parted down the middle, listened to jazz and danced the fox-trot.
- Jan 1, 1920. Jazz is developed by musicians of New Orleans. ...
- Jan 16, 1920. The 18th Amendment is passed. ...
- Nov 3, 1920. Warren G. ...
- Jan 1, 1921. Amelia Earhart takes her first flying lessons.
- Jan 1, 1922. Lindbergh took his first flying lessons.
- Jan 1, 1922. Earhart buys her first plane.
- Jan 1, 1923. Model T.
Women found their lives changed in more than appearance, however. Society now accepted that women could be independent and make choices for themselves in education, jobs, marital status, and careers. Women's spheres had broadened to include public as well as home life.
1920s women's trousers were like men's: high waisted, straight leg (sometimes tapered to the ankle, but most were wide leg), cuff or no cuff, and either a button fly if it was men's pants or no-fly/side button if it was specially designed for women.
It has been said that after wearing boots and long dresses for so long, women in the 1920s wanted to show off their feet. One shoe that achieved this – the 'T-strap' – was perhaps the most popular shoe of the Roaring Twenties.
The cloche hat or simply cloche ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a fitted, bell-shaped hat for women that was invented in 1908 by milliner Caroline Reboux. They were especially popular from about 1922 to 1933.
Sometimes called newsy caps, newsie caps, or paperboy caps, newsboy caps were popular among working class boys and men in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Most men's hats were just called felt hats, not by any specific name. Of all the variations, the fedora hat was the most common, and in general most felt hats fit the style of the fedora. It featured a snap brim that curved down in front and up in back.
- The Electric Automatic Traffic Signal. Garret Morgan is credited with inventing the first electric automatic traffic signal in 1923. ...
- Quick-Frozen Food. ...
- The Band-Aid® ...
- Water Skis. ...
- Electric Blender. ...
- Television. ...
- Vacuum Cleaner.
A number of accessories were important to the woman's 1920s wardrobe, including long strands of pearls, bangles, dangling earrings, and furs. Long fur coats fur worn with the straight, curveless cut popular during the 1920s.
- 1) The Decade of Women's Rights. ...
- 2) The Great Crash of 1929. ...
- 3) Jazz Was Born. ...
- 4) A Classic American Novel Was Published. ...
- 5) Advances in Aviation. ...
- 6) The Changing of the American Landscape. ...
- 7) A Lot of Household Brand Names Originated in This Era. ...
- 8) TV Was Invented.
Everyone has something 1920s in their closet. Men, look for bow ties, suspenders, fedoras, white t-shirts and wear it with a fitted vest for a quick 1920s costume. You can also find plenty of 'Zoot-Suit' styled apparel by shopping online or checking out your local thrift store.
1920s formal wear drips with elegance and class. Top hats were worn with dinner jackets and paired with matching flat-front pants that were high-waisted and often hit above the ankle. These were great clothes for short men, as pants were not expected to reach the tops of one's shoes, even when standing.
- Plain T-shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers.
- Plain Henley T-shirt + Denim Jeans + Boots.
- Polo T-shirt + Trousers + Loafers.
- Plaid Shirt + Denim Jeans + Boots.
- Denim Shirt + Denim Jeans + Formal Shoes.
- Patterned Shirt + Denim Jeans + Sneakers.
We couldn't have a gallery devoted to 1920s style without including Coco. She revolutionized women's fashion during the Jazz Age, introducing loose, jersey fabrics, long strings of pearls, and a feminine take on sailor suits.
Babe Ruth. George Herman 'Babe' Ruth was an American Major League Baseball player. In the 1920s he joined the New York Yankees, helping them win their first World Series. He is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time.
The 1920's Fashion trends were the shorter, low-waisted dresses and revealing styles worn by the Flappers, the 'bobbed' hairstyles, cloche hats, the casual, haphazard fashion of a mixture of brightly colored clothes, scarves and stockings with bold, striking Art Deco geometric designs of the era.
Like the book, the original film had Gatsby in a wide notch lapel white suit with a matching DB waistcoat (very nice) and a grey shirt and gold tie. It's a nice suit that actually looks solid, though still screams more 1970s (or contemporary) instead of period. I do like it for how minimal it is.
In summary, the best Great Gatsby outfits for men should consist of being well groomed, dressed in a nice suit and accessorized with items like bow ties, pocket squares and boater hats.
They bobbed their hair, wore short skirts (or even trousers!) and danced at jazz clubs. Did you know that the male equivalent to a flapper is a sheik? Thank the wildly popular 1919 novel The Sheik by E.M. Hull which was turned into a wildly popular film starring heartthrob Rudolph Valentino.
- Textured wools, tweeds, herringbone, check and thick stripes patterns.
- Suit pants came up very high on the waist.
- Add suspenders to your pants.
- A matching vest is a must.
Gatsby's clothes, specifically his English shirts, represents his dream of reigniting his love with Daisy.
The typical flapper look comprises of drop-waisted, fringed or heavily beaded cocktail dresses, Mary Jane heels (perfect for dancing!), accessorised with a long cigarette holder and a feather boa. It's pretty easy to find the look at costume shops but it's also worth browsing vintage shops for something more special.
Get your inspiration from the movie, where the “flapper look” is very well illustrated. The groom can wear a white suit or a tweed with a classic bow tie. To complete a simple yet sophisticated look, a hat, a white vest and a handkerchief in the pocket would bring Gatsby's style back to life.
- The Classic Blazer. A blazer dresses up your colored chinos and it looks great layered over a fine-quality polo or plaid shirt. ...
- A Great Pair of Jeans. ...
- Fine Quality Chinos. ...
- Standout Shoes. ...
- The Right Belt. ...
- The Timepiece. ...
- The Trench Coat. ...
- A Wool Sport Coat.
The 1920s gangster costume can be described as the men in dark-colored suit jackets(generally not black in color), along with matching vests and pants, a contrasting tie, a black or white band fedora hat, and a cigar in the mouth.
petting party (plural petting parties) (historical, US) A type of sex party in 1920s flapper culture.
Other women envied flappers for their flat chests and bought the Symington Side Lacer to enhance the same look; large breasts were commonly regarded as a trait of unsophistication. Hence, flat chests became appealing to women, although flappers were the most common to wear such bras.
After the personal freedom allowed them during the World War 1, young women go out to work, get permission to vote, play sports and demand to leave the house unchaperoned. New financial independence and emancipation followed and cutting long hair became a symbol of independence and strength equal to men.
What colors make up Gatsby's attire? What do these colors symbolize? He was wearing a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold tie. wanted to call attention to himself for his newfound riches.
Gatsby's suit is white to represent the pureness and innocence of wanting to get Daisy back. He wears it with a silver shirt and a gold tie.
The Flapper dress is short and loose, short-sleeved or sleeveless, and never much longer than knee length – which was super short in those days. They can be adorned with lace, sequins, cutaways, patterns or tassels.