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

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

  1. Calder

    Calder Senior member

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    The worst thing about modern suits (at least OTR) is the low rise. Lower than low, in fact.


    As for bad eras:

    [​IMG]
     


  2. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Skinny lapels, too short jackets, that I understand (because we're men and we shouldn't wear women's jackets), but I don't think I'll ever get the high buttoning point hate. Halfway between the navel and sternum is where it's at.
     


  3. manchambo

    manchambo Senior member

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    To me, the truly terrible thing about the suit on DiCaprio (and also on the guy from Frasier) is that it completely obscures their shoulders, screws up the line of their torsos, and basically makes them look like caricatures of men. DiCaprio is a guy who would look good in any well-tailored suit from any era, but that early 90s suit just completely ignores that and says "I'm going to give you the ridiculous shoulders I want you to have." Terrible. While I hate the current skinny lapel, etc, I don't think it commits the same sort of atrocities. It is actually flattering to skinny guys (though of course they would look better in something else). In any case, it doesn't obscure the body. If you look at some of those really terrible ads, such as the Levis one and the polyester one, as ugly as those clothes are in some ways, at least they create a natural and flattering male silhouette. They seem to me to serve the basic purpose of a suit, even if the details and ornaments are fairly terrible. Not so with early 90s clothes (or other times with ridiculous shape).
     


  4. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    Now.

    Or: they all were.

    The 50s saw the popularistion of artificial fibres, and a pared-down economy look that was driven not by style but by economics.

    The 60s continued that.


    The 70s (I lived through them) were truly awful. Shit-brown polyester-blend suits with flares and floral shirts/ties.

    The 80s tried to rediscover the classic, but ended up in the early 90s (as above) in mass market caricature.

    But only now is the suit falling into disuse, and ofen abused by those who wear it.

    At any period, there have been contra-indicators. RL in the 70s, renewed Savile Row in the 80s, SF approved now. But twenty years ago the man who knew no better dressed within the broad conservative norms of the past. Now, his son dresses outside them. Without a tie. With a jacket that does not cover his backside.
     


  5. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Hey Geezer I'm just about old enough to remember Jason King. I thought you would have loved the seventies!:D
     


  6. Recoil

    Recoil Senior member

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    While I thought it was going to turn into a gong show, this thread is one of the best I've read recently. This thread is full of interesting perspectives and a lot of legitimate discussions about the nature and history of men's clothing.
     


  7. Cubits

    Cubits Well-Known Member

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    Is the modern high-buttoning a reaction against the 80s'/90's low button?

    The low button stance shows more shirt, and creates a bigger triangular shape. I get that it went hand-in-hand with the linebacker shoulder pads to hyper-masculinise suits.

    But the high button stance does nothing good. It shrinks the top of the suit, causes a strange bottom-heavy look, and makes it look like you're hiding a spare tyre, badly. I can't think of a positive reason to go high. As a reaction against the 90's, if the point was to be more subtle and natural, they should have put the button back in the right spot. As is, there's still the problem of funhouse proportions, but it doesn't flatter anyone.

    So maybe this era of suits is penance for the over-indulgence of the last movement. We must flay ourselves by wearing fat-suits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013


  8. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Not I. I wore clothes mostly from Chipp, natural shoulder, two button, side vents- that would look good at an SF Meet-Up
     


  9. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Oh...so YOU were the one...
     


  10. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    Quote:I agree about the high button stance. I have a suit with a too-high button stance, and it flares out at the bottom too much, making the suit look almost like a skirt. I have had a tailor try to correct it, but it is still off.
     


  11. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    I have a jacket from the early 90's sitting right next to me. It's pretty low quality, but an interesting piece in terms of the discussion we're having here. It's a hard three button, with massive shoulders and chest, quite narrow waist, and no vents. Looks rather funny [​IMG]

    And still, I'd wear it over any current "fashion" jackets.
     


  12. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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  13. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    That is a fair challenge. But:

    - while I find the 70s style amusing, I am not endorsing it through my avatar (JK was a dandy, even then, rather than an example of mass market fashion); but i do like all attempts to dress interestingly and well (which JK did);

    - the 70s were probably the last decade where bespoke and MTM clothes were regarded as fairly normal for the middling classes rather than niche. So we should acknowledge that even if we hate the styles.
     


  14. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Yup. I remember in my home town's high street there was Dunn and co, Burton, Jackson, John Collier, Caslaws (local business) as well as several one man shops, all offering a degree of customized tailoring either MTM or bespoke, above and beyond whatever they were offering off the rack. Don't think any of them exist any more.

    I love the three button mod look of the early to mid sixties. For a long time three button jackets were like rocking horse shit, then when they came back in the late nineties I stocked up on a load before realizing how bad they looked in the new iteration with big shoulders and no waist, so they were just a shapeless tube, as worn by Leon Vance in NCIS. My vote still stands with the seventies though.
     


  15. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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