1920s Mens Fashion: A New Era

1920s mens fashion broke with the traditions of generations. The First World War changed the way we live in many ways, including how both men and women dressed.

Shifting Styles

Victorian and Edwardian menswear was sober and formal. Strict conventions dictated what kind of clothing was worn for any particular occasion, and decreed what was suitable for the time of day. After the sufferings of the 1914-18 war, attitudes and fashions changed dramatically.

At first, the shift in men's fashion consisted of a relaxation of the strict dress codes of preceding eras. Some suit styles took their cue from military uniforms, with tight buttoning, high-waisted, short jackets with narrow lapels. The cut was clean, the silhouette slender.

The long tails of the Victorian and Edwardian morning suit fell out of fashion as daywear, and came to be regarded as more formal dress, suitable for evening wear. Tuxedos, with shorter tails, gained ground in the style stakes, although the older top hat and tails still held its ground for some time. Black patent leather shoes complemented evening wear.

The new, more casual look was especially apparent in the growing popularity of sporting wear. The country house party look - belted Norfolk jackets, knickerbockers (or 'knickers) and plus-fours in tweed fabrics, worn with gentlemen's boots - became popular.

Sources of Inspiration

Fashions were inspired by what golfers, tennis players, rowers and other sportsmen were wearing. Most fashion historians characterise the look as brighter and more youthful, as survivors of the war started to celebrate peace time and economic recovery.

Fashion Evolution Continues

As the twenties progressed, menswear continued to evolve. This was the era of the flapper and the Bright Young Things. It was the jazz age, with art deco styles dominating design in decor and consumer goods. On university campuses, new fashions emerged for men. In particular, this was the era of the new loose fitting trousers known as 'Oxford Bags'. The story goes that these baggy trousers were worn over knickers after Oxford University banned undergraduates from wearing these items of too-casual clothing. In the United States, boom times saw many more young men attending university and pioneering new styles and dress codes.

Key Influences & Role Models

The influence of jazz music was also felt in men's fashion in the twenties. Tightly buttoned suits with long jackets and narrow-legged trousers signalled a passion for this new musical sensation. Two-tone shoes that provided a trendy finishing touch also became fashionable in this era. Especially in the later years of the decade, the film star style of actors like Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolf Valentino took hold in the public imagination.

Hints of 1920s Mens Fashion Today

The classic suit of today has some roots in the less formal men's fashion of the nineteen-twenties. There have of course been changes. For business people, the slim, simple 'conservative suit' of the early nineteen-twenties has given way to more emphasis on power-dressing. The clothes we wear today, and how we wear them, owe a great deal to 1920s mens fashion and a final break with the stuffiness and convention that prevailed before the Great War.

« Leave 1920s Mens Fashion & Return to Mens Fashion Home

First Impressions

In the U.S. above average looking men make 5.4% more than average looking men. Below average looks in the U.S. are penalized by as much as 9% relative to average men. Every two inches over average height is equivalent to one year of experience in pay... Learn More

Cruise Packing List

Your cruise packing list would be incomplete without a cool pair of casual flip flops. These can be worn with your bathing suit, shorts & a polo shirt or shorts & t-shirt... Cruise Packing List

Dress Code

Events such as weddings, formal parties, dinners, balls or dances require formal wear. Codes for formal events govern acceptable attire for such events... Dress Code

How to Look Taller

In order to achieve a taller appearance, you must establish a unified look from top to bottom that uses vertical lines, smooth transitions and thematic consistency... How to Look Taller

Meaning of Colors

Free Interview Tips

Interview Thank You Notes

Special Thanks

Interview Attire

As far as your interview attire, conservative and professional is the name of the game. Your goal is to look polished and be so appropriately dressed that the prospective employer notices your qualifications and not your distracting or poor choice of attire... Interview Attire

email Etiquette

Here are the top 10 things to consider for email etiquette... email Etiquette


Designer menswear collections online from Glass Boutique

Supra Shoes

Supra Footwear is a fusion of skate and street inspired footwear that was founded in 2006 by Angel Cabada.