In today’s article, we take a look at men’s fashion in the 1920’s and how we can take influence from it’s key elements. With ‘Boardwalk Empire’ captivating the nation and Baz Lurman’s much anticipated Hollywood adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ release looming, the twenties have well and truly influenced the world of men’s fashion, arguably just as much as women’s. And what better way to get into the festive spirit than to channel your inner Jay Gatsby and inject some much needed charm to the Christmas parties with a dapper suit. This period has already influenced the designer world and the High Street are following suit and taking influence from the 1920s.
The twenties man was thriving in the growing industrial world, moving away from manual, mostly dirty work, towards a shinier office oriented career. This was mirrored in the new styles and fashions for men. A sleek, sophisticated breed of man was being introduced. Although the classic suit was still highly in demand, the younger men started to rebel against this and wore clothing that was specific to day or evening wear. The influence of the educated ruled this look, so sporting casual style clothes increases with references to US colleges and hints of English private school entwined to create a sophisticated yet relaxed look that embodied class and luxury. This makes it a perfect period to take style inspiration from, for both casual and formal occasions over the Christmas period.
Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby
“An Oxford Man!”
Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire are the very definition of dapper, playing Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway respectively. In a nutshell, ‘The Great Gatsby’ follows the lavish lifestyle of Jay Gatsby and the huge parties he throws. Gatsby is an Oxford graduate and his style evokes the English Gentleman combined with an ‘American Dream’ edge’ ensuring that he, in the words of his love interest Daisy “always looks cool”
Nucky from Boardwalk Empire
Power dressing for Wall Street in the 1920’s dominates the male characters in this US drama dealing with politics, prohibition and Princeton alumni. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson’s trademark gaudy suits and love of clashing colours results in an eccentric look that isn’t dissimilar from the street style Hipsters in Dalston, Shoreditch and Brick Lane
Gossip Girl’s Chuck Bass
The character Chuck Bass in hit series ‘Gossip Girl’ played by Englishman Ed Westwick has a very tailored and is the perfect example of how the twenties can be brought right up to date. Whilst he still echoes the flapper age, he makes it contemporary with colours, patterns and prints. We’re a big fan of Ed here at MFM, and focused on Ed Westwicks style last year…
Get The Look
So you’ve seen how it can be done, but will you end up like you’re going to a period costume party, or ridiculously overdressed if you try to recreate a twenties look? Using classic tailoring but making it modern with colour choices and different fabrics you can bring back the luxe of the twenties but still wear the brands you love.
Of course, the obvious choice for many is to go straight for a suit. A classic way to embody your inner twenties gentleman is with a classic 3 piece suit. Double breasted jackets were incredibly popular at the time, however single breast can still work, and obviously a waistcoat is a must! Stay classic with browns, greys and taupe or liven things up with tweeds, velvet and brighter colours if you want to make an entrance.
For a more casual affair, chinos are the perfect balance of comfort while still looking well groomed. Like the suits, you can play it safe in beige or navy chinos, or be daring in bolder shades of burgundy or mustard. If you want to implement key textures from this decade, you can focus on tweed or wool trousers.
Hats were a must have accessory in the 1920s, for both formal and casual events. Keep the winter chills away with a hat inspired by the twenties is an easy way to bring this period into your wardrobe with out breaking the bank. Not only will you be snug and warm, but you’ll look really on trend. Plus it can hide your post-party hair disaster!
Brogues have been in fashion for a while, and don’t seem to be going out of it in the near future, so invest in a good pair. They can be worn for work and play, perfect for Christmas drinks after work. A timeless essential we should all own. For a more classic look, opt for a loafer.
Although imitation is meant to be the most sincere form of flattery, take influence from the 1920s and make an impact over the festive season and look like the perfect gentleman. Or even showcase this look by hosting your own lavish party that would make even Jay Gatsby jealous!