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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. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Actually George Raft was considered quite a fashionplate back then. Of course that sort of influence can only stem from personal style and taste.
     
  2. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    he would definitely set the standard even today. thanks for telling us about him.[​IMG]
     
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I know George Raft made a specialty of playing tough guys in movies and reputedly was a crony of the mafiosi. Nonetheless, the extreme waist suppression on that suit makes the whole outfit look rather womanish--at least in my eyes.
     
  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Evidently George Raft's underground connections also molded his style sense which became quite influential due to his cinematic presence. Unlike some of his contemporaries he isn't really well-known these days.

    Raft was supposedly the one who set the popular prototype of what a well-dressed gangster looked like: chalk-striped suits, jauntily angled hats, two-tone shoes, dark shirt with light necktie.

    Here's another ultra-fitted Raft look:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    ^Even disregarding the fact that the photo is "flopped," that suit looks bloody awful--simply way too tight!

    Again, the extreme suppression makes the suit look feminine. The "hourglass figure" has been desirable for women, but not for us men.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  6. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    A quick look at some random advertisements of the era makes it appear that a severely nipped waist was fashionable during Raft's time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Interestingly, this look as exemplified by Raft coincided with the "English Drape style" which came out of
    Savile Row's Frederic Scholte. It was a more relaxed cut still favored by such practicioners as Anderson and
    Shepard. This illustrates the obvious fact that an era is not necessarily dominated by one style. As I have
    already said, In the 70s my tailored clothing was almost the same as today, except that the lapels were maybe
    a half inch wider and shirt collar points longer. I shopped only in Ivy -type stores.

    http://www.gentlemansgazette.com/drape-cut/
     
  8. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    I will agree with you that most people haven't known how to dress for (especially daytime) formal occasions in at least 45 years. Today's Men's Wearhouse rental wonder, centered around the black suit with wizard robe sleeves and the color matched satin-like (usually ill-fitting) vest, tie and pocket-square, is pretty bad. But the 70's equivalents, with their insane lapels, hideous colors and ruffles (oh those wonderful 70's baroque ruffles...) were just wonderfully terrible. While every decade has it's extremes and questionable fashion trends, the 70's is truly unique in both the extreme vulgarity of those trends and the remarkably wide adoption of bad-taste (seriously, it was as if everyone was on drugs).
     
  9. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Are we talking about "suits" here or "tuxedoes." I would concede that the '70s were worse for the latter, but not the former.

    Weren't they?
     
  10. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    I suppose we will have to politely agree to disagree as I strongly feel that the 70's was a horror show for both. IMHO, the super-bold check pattern, polyester nightmares in that uniquely 70's rainbow of buzzard puke colors and horrifying tie and shirt patterns are simply unmatched in their awfulness by any post-industrial decade, before or since. Yes, there were people wearing well tailored and traditionally stylish suits (my own fathers Dege & Skinner suits being a great example). However, that isn't what Macy's customers were buying. That, to me, is one of the biggest differences; I can count the number of Thom Browne suits I have seen walking the streets of Manhattan on one hand. The awful 70's stuff people actually wore in great numbers! I can vividly remember all the awful plaid suits walking the streets from my childhood. This alone makes the 70's, in my opinion, by far the worst era.

    That said, if I were suddenly transported to an alternate universe where everyone was dressed like this;

    [​IMG]

    I'd probably feel very differently about the 70's versus today.
     
  11. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    ^Yes, there was a lot of awful stuff around in the '70s, but when we are talking about suits (and sport coats) proper there was plenty of decent apparel to be had. You state you were a child then. I was 28 in 1970 and bought some few sport coats and, as I recall, one suit during that decade. (It was tight time for me!)
     
  12. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Seventies Suit Nightmare:


    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. mhdena

    mhdena Senior member

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    This ERA right now with the slim fit, short jacket look, IMO.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    I didn't think the seventies were that bad but .... Disco Fiddler on the Roof? You win, I vote the 70s.

    Please, no more videos.
     
  15. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    In spite of the video, I am still saying the 90s are still the worst.
     
  16. RockyTop

    RockyTop Well-Known Member

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    Have to go with the polyester leisure suited '70's ...then the double-breasted baggy '90's.
     
  17. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    Holy smokes... those lapels are wider than the deck of a Nimitz class carrier.
     
  18. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    So, I will absolutely concede that in the 70's the world was still flush with options for well styled, reasonably priced and well made suits and other men's apparel. Not to rehash, but my argument is that the worst styles of the 70's were far worse than anything available today and that those terrible styles were pretty popular. I think perhaps the issue is the general decline of (what I consider) properly dressed men and the subsequent contraction of sources for good apparel. Let's face it, the majority of men, today, dress like slobs. If they can even be bothered to put on a suit, they don't wear a tie. For many, wearing dockers and a button-down shirt is "dressed up". In many places, casual dress has devolved into wife-beaters and sweatpants. Many who are trying to dress well are adopting seriously silly "fashion" trends.

    But, for all that is bad today, I do sense that we bottomed out sometime in the mid to late 00's. I see more people making an effort, which is a big improvement. I am seeing fewer corporate-branded denim button down shirts with wrinkled khakis and far more bow-ties, suits, waistcoats and sports coats than I have seen in quite a while (and recently I am noticing this change outside of NYC & London, which leads me to believe this is an increasingly widespread trend). From the success of Suit Supply to my tailor's suddenly resurgent business, there is a small, but not insubstantial renaissance in menswear underway. I'll also say that as much as it bothers my personal aesthetic sense, I'd rather see a 20 something in some goofy TAT outfit than the grunge crap that permeated most of the 90's.

    So, is this the worst era for men's suits? IMHO, no, it isn't. We have resurgent interest, improving selection (including whole new options - some good, some not so good) and a lot of interesting competing styles (traditional, conservative, neo-mod, neo-Edwardian, etc.). I'd put the 70's and 90's way ahead of today in the worst era's category.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Now how about some more pictures of awesome 70's wedding outfits...
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  19. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    ^Well, I just hope you're right. I haven't seen much discernible improvement in "Slovenly California," and most of the suits I see for sale at places like South Coast Plaza are of the undersized, ultra-skinny variety. But, maybe better times are ahead!
     
  20. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is this an appropriate thread to suggest tarring and feathering Thom Browne?
     

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