Men's Fashion

Men’s Fashions of the 1920’s

After the end of World War I, there were many changes in fashion for men and women. People wanted to take on a more healthy and youthful look. Part of this was because when men came back home after WWI, all of the clothes they had were old and outdated. They needed new clothing, and with this they took the opportunity to use their clothes to show off their individualism and to have a manlier look.

Sacque Suit

The sacque suit was the appropriate day dress for all men. The suits that had been worn before this time were big, broad-shouldered suits and since men were striving for the more youthful look, they began wearing suits that were skinnier and did not have padded shoulders. The suit pants also went through a change too. Creases became a big thing, they were found on the front of pants. Another thing added to pants were cuffs and they drew more attention to their shoes. Both of these things were added to pants to give off a sharper look. Belts were also becoming popular to wear with pants, instead of wearing suspenders. The belts were said to be "waist-slimming."

Putty, peach, blue-gray, and cedar were usually the color of shirts that were worn with sacque suits. Also worn with them, were silk ties. These ties usually had diagonal stripes on them or had different geometric patterns. Tie pins and black bowler hats also accompanied these outfits.

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Tail Coat

The tail coat was appropriate formal evening wear for men. When going out in the evening, the only color that was acceptable was black. Usually worn under the tail coats were starched white shirts with white wing collars and bow ties. A top hat finished the outfit off.

During this time, tuxedos were also becoming popular, but it was not yet completely acceptable for men to wear one.

Patent Leather Shoes

During this time period, patent leather shoes were very popular. They were especially popular for formal evening wear. A lot of times the shoes were just plain black, but it was also very common for them to be two different colors. If they were two different colors, they were usually white and black or white and tan. These shoes were lace up shoes and usually had fringed tongues.

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Knickerbockers were known as "knickers" and they were considered to be casual wear for a well-dressed man. They had large patch pockets on them and had one button and a belt was usually worn with them. There were different variations of knickers and examples of them were plus-fours, plus-sixes, plus-eights, plus-tens and so on. The "plus" referred to how many inches below the knee the "knickers" came. The most typical tops that was worn with knickerbockers was Norfolk coats and golf coats.


Oxford Bags-"Baggy Pants"

This style of pants originated in prisons, because in prisons the prisoners were not allowed to wear or have access to belts, so therefore they were not able to wear them with their pants. So because of this their pants were saggy and falling down. When this style became popular, different guys from all different backgrounds wore their pants this way. Also, rappers and hip-hop artists wore their pants that way, so other people started wearing their pants that way because it was "cool". Wearing pants like this gave other people, especially older people a negative opinion of them and they didn't approve of young men wearing pants that showed off their underwear. It made people think of them as being "sloppy". Also, other things that were associated with wearing pants like this were delinquency, crime, and a lack of education. At one time there was discussion to try and ban people from wearing "baggy pants", there was even going to be fines for wearing them or even having to serve jail time.

When wearing "baggy pants" the shoes you were wearing could not be seen because they were so baggy. These pants were high waisted and had legs that were as wide as 36 inches. These pants were originally made of flannel and they came in the colors of biscuit, silver gray, fawn, lovat, blue gray, and pearl gray.

There was a song titled "Baggy Trousers" by Madness.

Naughty boys in nasty schools
Headmasters breaking all the rules
Having fun and playing fools
Smashing up the woodwork tools
All the teachers in the pub
Passing round the ready-rub
Trying not to think of when
The lunch-time bell will ring again.

Oh what fun we had
But, did it really turn out bad
All I learnt at school
Was how to bend not break the rules
Oh what fun we had
But at the time it seemed so bad
Trying different ways
To make a difference to the days.

Headmasters had enough to-day
All the kids have gone away
Gone to fight with next-doors school
Every term, that is the rule
Sits alone and bends his cane
Same old backsides again
All the small ones tell tall tales
Walking home and squashing snails.

Oh what fun we had
But, did it really turn out bad
All I learnt at school
Was how to bend not break the rules
Oh what fun we had
But at the time it seemed so bad
Trying different ways
To make a difference to the days.

Lots of girls and lots of boys
Lots of smells and lots of noise
Playing football in the park
Kicking pushbikes after dark
Baggy trousers, dirty shirt
Pulling hair and eating dirt
Teacher comes to break it up
Back of the ead with a plastic cup.

Oh what fun we had
But, did it really turn out bad
All I learnt at school
Was how to bend not break the rules
Oh what fun we had
But at the time it seemed so bad
Trying different ways
To make a difference to the days.

Baggy trousers, baggy trousers, baggy trousers
Baggy trousers, baggy trousers, baggy trousers

Jazz Clothing

In the 1920's, what was known as jazz clothing, quickly went in and out of fashion. Jazz clothing consisted of really tight fitting suits and the jackets were long and tight waisted and had long back vents. The pants of the suit were tight and really skinny. The buttons on the suits were very close together. Wearing suits like this showed off people's passion for jazz music.

Popular Fabrics


One of the very popular fabrics at this time, was tweed cloth. Tweed refers to hand-woven wool fabric from Scottish highlands and islands.


Flannel was also very popular at this time. Flannel is a heavy cloth and originally was made as a heavy, comfortable, soft wool cloth. The most popular color was gray, so since there were a lot of gray flannel trousers, they became known as "grayers". Some other popular colors for flannel were white, beige, and stripes.


London, England was a very popular place for fashion, especially men's fashion. London is where men's fashion trends came from and men's fashion magazines had lots of the trends and styles from London.

To find out more about 1920's fashion, check out Women's Fashion


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"Baggy Trousers." Lyrics Freak. 5 Mar. 2009.

"Classic Fashion for Men: 1920's Mens Suits." 1920's Fashion and Music. 10 Feb. 2009.

"The Classic Styles: Mens Fashion of the 1920s." 1920's Fashion and Music. 10 Feb. 2009.

Nolan, Carol. "Mens Fashions of the 1920s." Mens Vintage Fashions by Carol Nolan. 2008. 5 Feb. 2009.

Sandeen, Del. "Baggy Trousers." Mens Fashion. 2009. 18 Feb. 2009.

Sandeen, Del. "How to Tie a Windsor Knot." Mens Fashion. 2009. 18 Feb. 2009.

Stratford, S.J. "Men's Fashion in the 1920s." Mens Fashion. 2009. 19 Feb. 2009.'s_Fashion_in_the_1920s.

Stratford, S.J. "1920's Men's Clothing." Mens Fashion. 2009. 18 Feb. 2009.'s_Men's_Clothing.

Stratford, S.J. "1920's Men Wear." Mens Fashion. 2009. 18 Feb. 2009.'s_Men_Wear.

Warta, Tamara. "Mens Casual Sport Coats." Mens Fashion. 2009. 18 Feb. 2009.

by Kelsi Ubbenga

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