Men's Clothes in the Late 1950s and Early 1960s

Written by jeffrey norman
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Men's Clothes in the Late 1950s and Early 1960s
Men's styles of the 1950s and 60s still have appeal today. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Endless attention is given to ladies' sartorial trends in the 1950s and 1960s but the men donned styles that merit equal appraisal. Contemporary gentlemen looking to appear especially composed and fashionable will enjoy delving into this epoch. Much of what was in vogue back then has managed to remain trendy today.


The popularity of Hawaiian styling in the latter half of the 50s decade can largely be attributed to the film "From Here to Eternity." The Oscar winner starred Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, and Ernest Borgnine and featured gorgeous Hawaiian shirts. The popularity of the fashion showcased how one of America's then newest states had been embraced by the country. It also spoke to the ideals of ease and leisure that smoothed the formality and rigidity of the era.

Italian Suits

Modern-day gents looking to truly imbibe the signature looks of 1950s male fashion will need to don a well-fitted Italian suit. Though major brands like Armani will fit the bill today suits for men's fashion really took off in the 1950s in large part due to the efforts of Brioni. Hollywood stars gravitated en masse to the brand circa 1954, and a few years later Brioni continued its revolutionary influence by injecting colour into its formal wear.

The Mods

The early 1960s saw a noticeable increase in mens' attention to styling, especially with the Mod trend that attracted a sizeable cult following. Mods, or Moderns, were a hit in both London and the U.S. Young men ported Italian suits along with polo shirts and tidy hair styles. Desert boots, as well as tennis shirts designed by Fred Perry, also spoke to the Mod way. The final touch for a true Mod man was a Vespa scooter.

Turtlenecks and Nehrus

The turtleneck is a top that embodies the spirit of the 1960s. However its first period of popularity was held in the 1920s, thanks to Noel Coward. Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve McQueen helped to bring the sweater back in the 60s. Nehru jackets originally hailed from India and were adopted into the West as an appreciation for Eastern culture took hold. There are no lapels on the Nehru jacket, and seldom was there a collar either.

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