Every decade makes its mark on the fashion industry and the 1950s are no different. During the 1950s style trends for males differed based on age, workplace and cultural preferences. From western movies to popular actors such as James Dean, in the 1950s male fashions often mirrored the pop culture trends of the time.
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The Businessman Look
One of the most popular clothing options for men in the 1950s is that sported by businessmen. These men typically wore wool blend suits in dark colours such as black, navy, dark brown and charcoal. The accompanying shirt and tie were also simple and clean. Specifically, men usually coordinated plain ties to the colour of the suit. Dress shirts were rarely colourful; instead men in the 1950s opted for a plain white shirt.
Often known as the Ivy League trend, men in the 1950s often opted for a more casual version of the businessman look. This clothing trend features cardigan sweaters made popular by the varsity letter sweater popular at this time. Men commonly paired a colourful cardigan with a white short-sleeved button-down shirt, slacks and a patterned tie. The Ivy League trend also sparked the popularity of the polo shirt, which men easily substituted for the button-down shirt for an even more casual look. Hollywood icons such as Robert Wagner made this a popular fashion trend for younger men in the 1950s.
As western films became more popular in main stream Hollywood, clothing trends cropped up that mimicked the fashion seen on the big screen. Clothing for men in line with the western trend included flannel shirts, especially with key details like pearl snaps, and the classic cowboy boot. The western trend in clothing was popular with men and young boys who saw TV characters like the Lone Ranger as heroes and style icons.
The Rebel Trend
Spearheaded by actor James Dean, the rebel clothing trend was huge in the 1950s. It featured denim jeans, leather jackets and the plain white T-shirt. While seen across generations in the 1950s, the rebel look was most popular among teenagers and young boys.
General Clothing Trends
Common textile patterns in the 1950s include stripes, checks, plaids and pinstripes. The colour palette during this time was either dark and monochromatic, as seen in business attire, or lighter pastel shades in the more casual dress of the time. Hats were also popular among men in the 1950s, including the fedora and the newsboy cap. Men during the 1950s commonly wore loafer style shoes, patent leather dress shoes or high-top sneakers.
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