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What Has Been the Worst Era for Men's Suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MrDaniels, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Looking at the post-WW2 years, what has been the worst era for men's business dress?


    I am going to say the early-to-mid 90s. All those damn 6x2 double-breasted suits with the super-wide lapels and ventless jackets.


    Looks like the costume person for Wolf of Wall Street nailed the look perfectly:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Quantimil

    Quantimil Well-Known Member

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    Definitely the 90's.
     
  3. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Got to be the seventies. The decade that style forgot. Huge lapels, polyester, leisure suits, James Bond in a safari jacket, bell bottoms, augmented by platform shoes, kipper ties, wingspan shirt collars, gaudy colours, porn star tashes, ear warmer haircuts ...

    It's become trendy to knock the eighties these days and there is some ammo there, but still not a patch on the seventies. I still can't get past the love for big lapels on this site, I'm just about old enough to remember them first time round and get the shakes when I see things like that now. Thank god I had already moved over here in the nineties so missed the madchester revival of huge bell bottoms back home.
     
    4 people like this.
  4. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    Great show, but ...[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Two eras:

    1. Late forties until the Ivy look swept the US which was mid- fifties.

    2. The 70s for reasons already mentioned

    I also dislike the 80s-90s Armani-inspired style with dropped lapels loose- fitting jacket and baggy pants.

    In the 70s, 80s I wore neither style but continued to conform to the Ivy paradigm, more or less.
     
  6. scotchman

    scotchman Well-Known Member

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    70's...The first time ties became an afterthought and turtlenecks were acceptable to wear with a jacket. Just awful.
     
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  7. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    I'm tempted to say the 1970s, but I'm going to go with the 1990s. More for the business casual trend which resulted in far too many people wearing a suit without a tie. Pinstripe suits, white shirt with top button undone and no tie. Ugh. At least people seemed to have kept their ties on more in the past.
     
  8. kasakka

    kasakka Senior member

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    For suit design, right now is pretty bad. Lots of way high buttoning points, skinny lapels, gorges almost disappearing to the back and jackets that barely reach your ass (or alternatively look really odd with correct length but excessively high buttoning point). At least the stuff in the 70s to 90s was mostly masculine despite some terrible trends.

    Maybe the problem is that suit designers are so desperately trying to follow stupid trends rather than sticking to "classic" design but letting the fabrics and fit do the talking.
     
    3 people like this.
  9. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    I would go with the late 80s and early 90s, though not for the reasons you listed: my reason is because wearing a suit far too large for you was the fashion.

    The 70s had some obnoxious styling details, but at least people wore suits that fundamentally fit.

    Lots of suits from the last few years are actually atrocious as well in this regard, and I do not think they will age well. See Skyfall for reference.
     
  10. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    And remember, Niles and Frasier were actually well-dressed by that era's standards. There were some atrocious things in the 70s, but some guys were sporting a more-controlled three-piece look that was actually pretty slick.
     
  11. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    What do you not like about the late forties? Have you checked out Gangster Squad? :slayer:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Let's hear it for the seventies!!!


    [​IMG]
     
  13. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    I lived through the disco era. And I can't imagine anyone seriously contending that it shouldn't be permanently awarded the trophy in the category of Worst Post-WWII Era for Men's Suits. I mean, it walks away with the #1 spot. The '90s don't even come close. Even today's absurdist Thom Browne-inspired overly short and overly tight suits can't compete.

    People wore lime green polyester leisure suits, with ruffled polyester shirts, and white Super Soles on their feet. ("They make you wanna fly/ These Super Soles are high...") For more formal occasions, a powder blue tuxedo with flaring bell bottom pants and really wide black velvet (velour) lapels was the way to go.

    The picture, below, is from the 1975 JC Penny catalog. And when a retailer as middle America as JC Penny pushes pimpwear as mainstream fashion, well, I rest my case. I mean, if JC Penny was touting this stuff, your head should explode at the thought of what the non-mainstream stores were offering.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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    But but they fit :)
     
    2 people like this.
  15. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    its easy to knock styles in retrospect, but keep in mind, than in their respective times, these looks were considered stylish. much of it even within the style/fashion community.

    that being said, late 80s/early 90s appeals the least to me.
     
  16. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    But here is the question: What were conservative businessmen wearing in the 70s? My take is that in the early/ mid 90s even well-bred upper-class men (see Niles and Frasier) were wearing those awful double-breasted numbers.
     
  17. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    Suit styles have been cycling through the same basic ideas since around the 1910's. It's interesting to note that the low button stance "hero" shouldered double breasted power suit of the 80's and 90's was almost identical to the mid 30's and mid 50's era suits of the same general style. Bellow is an example of a 1935 6x2 low button stance, wide low lapel with big exaggerated shoulders (take away the waistcoat, and even the tie exposure would be almost the same).

    [​IMG]

    Yes, the 90's took some of these themes to new extremes, but the suit Leonardo is wearing wasn't, for the time, all that awful (I can remember far, far worse examples flowing out of Men's Wearhouse). Also, I don't think the suit above is anywhere near as awful as the vacuum sealed, micro lapel, hip high jacket, sock showing, shiny suit TAT rubbish that is popular in some circles today.

    Of course, even the worst of today, the 00's, 90's and the 80's pales in comparison to the drug induced decade-long horror show of the 1970's:



    [​IMG]
     
  18. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    I do think it very important to distinguish between CBD and general fashion. I think the CBD comparison is more relevant.
     
  19. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Yes, or this could be an example of Eisenhower-era dress:
    [​IMG]



    And look at the presidential portrait of Gerald Ford. SOME guys were rocking some CBD in the Disco Era!


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Baggy saggy shiney 2 button suits with wide lapels. Think Richard Nixon.

    Marks and Spencer has a halfway decent reputation these days for low cost OK quality OTR stuff. In the 1970s they were selling navy blazers made of Terylene by ICI, and crimplene trousers that would catch fire from static if your chubby thighs rubbed together. Polyester and bri-nylon non iron shirts that will be pulled out of a landfill centuries from now with zero biodegrade. :happy:
     

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