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The Evolution of Menswear: 1910s to 1990s

We’re doing a post on the evolution of menswear to celebrate our first vintage menswear capsule collection at the MSV store, along with 20% off any of our vintage men’s shirts! Check out the New In collection and stay tuned for further items (not to mention more great discounts!).

1910s  Formality reigned supreme, collars were detachable and shirts were buttoned in the back rather than the front. These were very stiff, constructed in muted colours and mostly hidden beneath a vest and jacket.

1920s High starched collars were replaced by softer ones as men sought more comfortable styles, and a wider variety of colours were made available.

1930s Polo shirts were first introduced during this decade, bringing casual flair to men’s wardrobes. On the other hand, dress shirts had wider lapels and straight pointed collars to match suit jackets.

1940s The severity of wartime measures resulted in further embracing of casual clothing, as Hawaiian shirts became a popular item of choice. Boxy sleeves and chest pockets with flaps were common features.

1950s Collars became less prominent during the 50s, with button-down styles that were short and straight. Short sleeved options for workwear were finally introduced as well.

1960s Less conservative and more colourful, shirts were more relaxed than in previous decades.

1970s Wide collars made a return to men’s fashion in the 1970s, adorning dangerously low necklines. Florals and flannels were very popular, with all sorts of prints and colours for wearers to choose from.

1980s It wasn’t just the ladies who indulged in power dressing: men did, too. Velour, velvet and polyester fabrics were in, as were Oxford shirts for a preppy look.

1990s Workwear became increasingly casual and minimal, relaxed styles were popular. Rejecting the trends of previous decades, the 1990s saw Aloha shirts and oversized tees replace more fitted silhouettes.

1910s, Daily Mail
1920s, Vintage Dancer
1930s, Mens Fashion Magazine
1940s, Heritage: Newfoundlands & Labrador
1950s, Articles of Style
1960s, Pinterest
1970s, E. R. Fisher
1980s, The Wall Street Journal
1990s, Etsy (Vogue Pattern)

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