Sunday, October 5, 2008
My Brief Take On The History of Menswear
Menswear has always been directed by men’s desire to appear sexually attractive since the dawn of civilization. By the 19th century there was a strong preference for dark garments by men. Figures in authority like the Pope, Emperor’s, Kings and Nobles dressed with such opulence that was uncommon to the average Joe. They were always held in high esteem and men would look with such awe at the appearance of these dapper men of power whenever they appeared in public exuding utter royalty.
As with those times where only the strongest survived most of these figures of authority were great soldiers and warriors and it was the outfits they wore during battles that influenced the evolution of menswear. No occupation has influenced menswear, both ancient and modern more than the military. They were the innovators of new fashion like the trousers which were specialized military garments before they became an everyday wear for civilians. It was said that the armorers (people who fitted the soldiers with padded clothing) developed sewing techniques that gave rise to the art of tailoring.
America took the lead in the 20th century with the ready to wear industry innovating technologies that created a reliable source of clothing for all men. 20th century men’s clothing was defined by popular culture depicted by the media of figures like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra. And now in the 21st century, contemporary menswear move at an ever faster pace thanks to global communication. From androgyny to bohemian or even prison chic, men have shown the women folk that they can keep recreating and bringing fresh ideas to the table.
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