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Fashion trends for men in the 20th century

18 Dec 2017
by Linda Canter

There is more to read about the fashion trends for women. Great, but what about the gentlemen? In this blog we look back at the most important clothing trends for men from the last century.


Early 1900s

Men's fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century is reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln's style. Think of high hats, long jackets down to the knee and a walking stick as an accessory. Also the pocket watch was a popular attribute for men who could afford it. In terms of clothing, the gentlemen preferred to wear a three-piece suit.


Between 1920 and 1930

Suddenly colour became utterly fashionable. The Duke of Wales a trendsetter in Europe. His pictures appeared in advertisements, bringing the trends to ordinary men. Social class was displayed through clothing. Shirts and socks were colourful.


Men in the thirties

In the thirties, men's clothing became darker and more businesslike. The high hat disappeared in the back of the closet and the fedora became popular. Cotton was also increasingly worn. Think of jackets and wide trousers.


Elvis Presley

Rock 'n roll in the fifties

After the scarcity during the Second World War, the fifties brought possibilities to dress up nicely again. Young men and women did not want to dress like their parents anymore and went along with the rock 'n' roll trend. For men, this meant wearing tight trousers with rolled up pipes, thin ties and cool leather jackets. The matching hair trend was of course the whipped hair. Do you also immediately get Grease in mind?


Flower power and long hair

The sixties were the years of colour, jeans and even tighter trousers. The Beatles were popular and therefore also the common man grew his hair. In addition, the sixties were of course the hippie era. Colourful tie-dye shirts, silk scarves and wide trousers were completely normal. At the end of the sixties, men’s clothing became more feminine.


Velvet and platform shoes

The end of the sixties was a nice precursor for the most colourful time in men's fashion: the seventies. Velvet shirts with V-neck, platform shoes, boots with heels, trouser suits and tracksuits in bright colours: whatever you could think of. Also long hair, necklaces and round glasses like John Lennon's were popular. Punk became fashionable in the mid-seventies. Mohawks , earrings and ripped clothing were visible on the streets everywhere.


The 80s: from boring to neon

The eighties were a bit boring. Shirts, sweaters, jackets: there is not much more to explain here. Especially the fit was very spacious. Earth toned colours were popular. You probably still have pictures of yourself and the rest of the family in brightly coloured and shiny tracksuits. Halfway through the eighties, the colours in the streets brightened up again. Also mustaches and chest hair were again proudly shown. Think of Freddy Mercury.


90s: boybands and Beckham

The nineties seemed to consist of two different worlds: on the one hand you had the alternatives: fans of bands like Nirvana with their dark band shirts and boots. On the other hand, there were the influences of boybands like the Backstreet Boys. Clothing was oversized and colourful. And the boys of course had bleached hair in the same style like sweetheart Nick Carter. Also David Beckham was a real fashion icon in the late 90s and early 2000s, with diamond earrings, braided hair, Sarong skirts and nail polish. And that was the glorious end of fashion between 1900 and 2000.

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