By Victoria Navarro
The popularity of fashion began in the 1900s due to advancements in materials and designs. With advanced machinery, companies were able to mass-produce clothing at an affordable cost. However this change led society to give greater attention to women’s fashion throughout the decades, while ignoring the different styles that men had presented. Beginning in the 1900s, men’s fashion began to receive attention and here are few of the most iconic trends in men’s clothing throughout time.
The 1920s marked the age of sophistication with suits and bold accessories. Suits were an essential part for a man’s wardrobe, regardless of age. At first, men mainly wore neutral colored suits for casual wear, but as time progressed, striped suits became more popular. Along with suits, patterned ties, bow ties, and hats also became well-known trends. In the summertime, Panama straw hats and boater hats were extremely popular, whereas in the winter, men preferred to wear fedoras.
The beginning of World War II marked a drastic change in men’s style. In order to maintain the country’s patriotism during the war, men wore very minimalistic clothing, avoiding bold clothing prints. However, when the war ended, people began to wear long coats, full-cut trousers, and hand-painted ties. The most popular trend was collared pattern shirts.
Nothing portrays the seventies fashion better than disco. Compared to the previous years, there was a dramatic change in men’s fashion during this time with the appearance of butterfly collars, bell bottoms, and skin-tight shirts. Clothing no longer focused on sophistication as it shifted towards a more relaxed vibe. At the time, people wore bright-colored clothing with geometric designs. Along with trending outfits, certain hairstyles also became prominent during this time as men grew afros, chevron mustaches, as well as chest hair that peeked out of their low cut shirts. However, in the late 1970s, the hype for vibrant clothing disappeared, and the neutral tones became popular again.
During this decade, comfortable clothing became the preferred choice for men’s outfits. Matching sweatshirts and sweatpants were found in nearly every man’s closet and activewear brands became trendy. Men, especially teenagers and young adults, wore clothing that supported professional sports teams or large graphic sweatshirts. Denim was also popular for many teenagers as they paired denim jackets with denim or corduroy pants.
With the new millennia, people fused different trends from the previous centuries in order to create their own style. Many of the trends were similar to those in the ‘60s to ‘80s. For instance, distressed or boot-cut jeans and sportswear made a reappearance, along with sportswear.
In terms of casual clothing, young men generally wore tracksuits and turtle-neck or polo shirts with a popped collar. Trucker hats, aviator sunglasses, and argyle socks were popular for men’s accessories. Furthermore, sports shoes from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Skechers became popular choices for everyday footwear. Similar to the appearance of many boy bands, like NSYNC, spiked and bleached hair played a big role in men’s fashion.
In 2010s, the improving economy influenced the diversity of men’s clothing. The trend of bright colors in the past was faded away as dull colors began to grow in popularity. Over the past few years, urban fashion has become one of the largest trends amongst young men with bomber jackets, jersey shirts, sweatpants, joggers, and double-breasted blazers. Collared shirts paired with fitted pants are common for casual wear.
One growing trend are dresses geared towards men. Recently, Jaden Smith modeled a black skirt with golf jewels for Louis Vuitton.
Men, like Smith, are constantly challenging their perception in society with the idea that they are “meant” to be masculine. However, trends have been appearing in designer-brand fashion molding the idea that men can and should be able to express themselves freely through their clothing.