The fashion trends of men | Sunday Observer

The fashion trends of men

6 August, 2023

The Bard is my most trusted reference for my aesthetic well-being. The Bard penned “A man in all the world’s new fashion planted, that hath a mint of phrases in his brain”. It is popularly known that regardless of your gender, dressing remarkably well is invariably a form of good manners. Menswear and the wardrobe of a man are matters of utter significance for a man whose well tied tie is just like the first deliberate step in his life.

The style and the kind of cloth that a man wears are his perfections from a point of view. A man with a good taste in fashion should have a magnifying mirror. A well-dressed man’s good look is not just merely a matter of self-significance but also a self-respect, esteem, and reverence.

I am reminded of a certain adage that speculates on the fact that people will stare at you, and you should have a knack to make it worth their while. During the 19th century, a considerable amount of research was conducted by a few social scientists on the matter of dress; they were predominantly linked with the aspects of individualism, cultural characteristics, and social groups.

However, by the middle of the 20th century, it was found that home economists also initiated a path of stalking pedagogic enthusiasm from the perspective of social science and evaluation of dress. Social scientists define dress as “an assemblage of modifications of the body and/or supplements to the body”.

The aspects such as piercing, dieting, exercising, cosmetic surgery and the use of cosmetics are several prominent areas from among a diverse element of body modifications.

Meanwhile, body supplements are also an important entity where clothing, accessories, sunglasses, hearing aids and so on also make a huge impact on the dress code of men. By the latter part of the 1950s, theories, derived through social science research that includes psychology, social psychology, economics, and sociology were also being taken into perusal in order to conduct studies on dress and human behaviour.

Social psychology

As noted by some researchers, the social psychology of dress has got its concern on as to how the dress of an individual affects the behaviour of self as well as that of the same of others on the self. It is also reported that history and tradition have been instrumental and influential on the element of menswear. It is interesting to distinguish that everybody who is concerned with the element of menswear, no matter whether they are stylists, editors, and designers, has often been inspired from the fashion that existed in the good old days.

Towards the end of the 19th century and onto the very beginning of the 20th century, men in that era were found slightly taking attempts to escape from the Victorian influence that was still being highlighted with the use of frock coats, top hats and pocket watches whilst keeping their hand occupied with a walking stick.

This specific way of dressing looked apparently like a convoluted and revelled way, however, in contrast, it could also be argued that it was a remarkable step, taken in the right direction, all in all the Georgian period that ended has had men wearing panty hose, feathers and high heels; this made them to think of themselves as dandies.

In the 1900s, it was noticed that, as if the men’s wardrobe was infiltrated by an utilitarian theorist; it was attracted by an adherent degree of utilitarianism that was associated with a sense of uninventiveness. However, it is evident that the protracted, tilt and slant athletic silhouette of the late 1890s still remained; stuck to guns. The said era was featured and symbolized by tall and rigid collars. Trousers were comparatively shorter than that of the same of the previous era and “turn-ups” or “cuffs” were often available, and they were creased both from the front and back by means of the newly invented trouser press.

Following World War II, an umpteen of classic menswear designs came into the limelight and even today most of them are still in use. Designing menswear stood as a flourishing business in the United States and the American designers thrived.

The more money they earned, the more they travelled around the world, particularly they crossed the Atlantic to England and France; they were on cultural and aesthetic explorations. They were often spotted returning home with a bag full of the very latest fashions being attired away from home. Out of every country in Europe, the English managed to maintain their influence on American menswear.

During the 1920s, button down shirts, natural shouldered jackets, colourful argyle socks, sunglasses and regimental ties were worn by college students in America; the same stuff of menswear was rather significant and popular at the prestigious Oxford University.

Menswear icon

The then prince of Wales who later became the Duke of Windsor, was supposed to be the world’s most influential and eye catching menswear icon at that time.

The elegant men belonging to the nobility in England wore their dresses as if they were fashion icons and their taste of fashion was impeccable; a pair of black or ash coloured trousers, long sleeved white and light blue shirts, either black or brown belt running around the waist complimented by a dark black pair of glasses were the norm of the day.

Intellectuals belonging to university academia are often seen walking to the lecture hall, being attired in such an outstanding way which made them an exception in the society.

There were some legitimate trendsetters for everyday people and modelling for menswear outfits was a thriving business that made its participants lavishly wealthy. The taste level of American fashion reached its climax during the 1930s.

Men in America took pride in the clothing that they wore. This sense of pride and prestige got transported even beyond the Atlantic, from North America to Europe, from Europe to Asia and South Asia.

The men in every continent during that era dressed by certain codes of conduct and etiquette. It is also noted that the kind of rules linked with the menswear were written during that particular period of time.

Sooner than later the end of World War II, the men in North America and Europe drifted away from the rudimentary principles of the exclusive dresses that got established during the 1930s, the changes in the workforce as well as the loss of civility and formality in day-to-day life. Due to the ever increasing lower demand, the price on custom tailoring persistently increased and that paved the way for mass production of menswear to take over as a matter of day-to-day median.