The 1920s was a time of prosperity in America until the stock market crash of 1929, and this affluence allowed the average working man to purchase fashionable clothing. Clothing styles for men of the '20s were influenced by famous actors, athletes and other well-known personalities of the day, as reported by "Men's Fashion in the 1920s" at Michigan State University. In addition, fashion trends from England influenced men's clothing styles in the U.S.
London was the seat of men's fashion in the 1920s, and American men's fashion magazines of the 1920s featured the latest trends and designs from London. Prior to the 1920s it was customary for men to change clothes several times during the day. In "Men's Vintage Fashions" Carol Nolan reports that students at Cambridge and Oxford violated this custom for the first time in the '20s by wearing one outfit all day long, a trend that was followed by men in America. Students at Oxford also made men's baggy trousers fashionable. Oxford University did not allow students to wear a style of short trousers called "knickers" in the classroom, so students began to wear baggy trousers over their knickers. These baggy trousers were introduced to men in America in 1925.
Men's suits in the 1920s took on a tighter, leaner look as men wanted to present a younger, more athletic appearance than men's styles of previous decades. Suits became everyday attire for the working man. According to the "Men's Fashion in the 1920s," a class in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Humanities department at Michigan State University, in the mid-1920s suit jackets were fitted to the waist, and single- and double-breasted suit jackets were considered stylish. Men in the '20s followed the examples of men famous at the time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Prince of Wales and Al Capone, who all wore styish suits. The famous aviator Charles Lindbergh made the leather driving jacket fashionable. American men also mimicked the fashion styles of well-known athletes, such as the raccoon coat worn by football star Red Granger.
Clothing accessories were an important part of men's fashion in the 1920s. Men of all societal levels wore hats, which were available in a variety of styles, including fedoras, bowlers and trilbies. In the summer, fashionable men of the day wore straw hats. Driving gloves were considered a fashionable accessory in the '20s as were handkerchiefs, which men tucked neatly into the breast pocket of their dress jackets. Shoes became an important part of dressing well, and men liked two-tone dress shoes. Shirts worn with suits often featured subtle colours such as beige, tan, brown and blue. Brightly coloured socks were considered stylish for men in the 1920s.
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