The 1910s is also known as the Edwardian fashion era. Men’s clothing in those times wasn’t much different from that of today. In short, men’s clothing during the 1910s comprised suits for the daytime, formal tailcoats for the evening parties, and a bit more casual dressing for sports. Young men wore slimmer suits which were brightly coloured while the older men preferred wearing oversized and neutral coloured dresses. Towards the end of the Edwardian era, men’s clothing became more relaxed and casual in style. From the mid-1910s, we could notice the arrival of newer styles and fashion trends in men’s attires like colourful sweaters, casual shirts, new styled suits, and dual-tone shoes.
Edwardian Men’s Fashion 1910 Trend
For sporting events, men usually wore loosely fitted suits and paired them with knitwear during winters. Also, for summer activities most dresses were white. The upper-class people borrowed their attires from the lower class, who in turn did their best to resemble upper-class clothing. To know more about edwardian men’s clothing keep reading below.
Upper-class men’s clothing
In this article, we are going to take a look at the men’s fashion essentials of the 1910s in detail. Now, edwardian men’s fashion was different for the aristocrats and the working class. So, we have separately classified both categories for better comprehension and listed the various dresses worn by men belonging to both categories. Below given are the various styles of edwardian clothing worn by upper-classmen.
1910 Men’s sack suit
The main clothing type prevalent in those times was sack suits. They were loosely fitted, plain, long baggy suit jackets that had 2.75 inches broad lapels. Modern suits are similarly styled but have better fittings and a short length. Sack suits of the Edwardian era were generally 32 inches long, having 3 buttons. They mostly were either grey, green, dark navy, or brown coloured. Not much colour variations were available. Woolen fabrics could be found with traces of checks, plaids, and striping. The material of the sack suits was extremely thick.
Mostly, the jackets had straight or slightly rounded edges. They looked like box-shaped jackets paired with high waist pants, creased back and front. Belts were optional. Trousers were secured around the waists with the help of elastics. After the first world war was over, men wanted suits of brighter colours, softer materials with a tailored fit. As a result, shorter coats with soft cuts and lighter materials were manufactured.
1910 Jazz suit
Jazz suit was a variety of sack suits. The jazz suits featured a pinched up shoulder tightly and the waist snugly fitted against the ribs. Jazz suits had 3 closely fitted buttons. The trousers paired with the jazz suits were short in length, continuing till the ankle. The jazz suits were a popular clothing option among men throughout 1910 and continued being so till the 1920s. However, the jazz edwardian suite wasn’t suitable to be worn to dance parties.
1910 Summer whites
As we already mentioned, once the war was over, suits became lighter in shades, having bright and cheerful colours, mostly sky blue, sage green, rust-brown, electric blue, lilac purple, etc. Suits made especially for summers were all light coloured and gradually darker shaded suits faded away. Summer suits also featured large check patterns, chalk stripes, rough tweed, and windowpane. The summer suits were worn while vacationing to any resort or beach, picnicking, yachting, sporting, or taking a cruise.
Whites symbolised sophistication. Wearing white or light coloured clothes was mostly an upper-class phenomenon because it meant that the wearer was a master, who could afford to keep servants to clean and maintain their clothes. Palm beach or white beach fabric was transported from India. Peal beach suits, breathable and light-textured were ideal for summers and were paired with high waist pants. During the later part of the 1910s, men wearing shorts were also spotted. A vest under the suits was also worn but avoided while outing. Below a jacket, a stripped or soft white, light Oxford shirt could be spotted with rolled-up sleeves. Pants were secured with a belt and the outlook was further enhanced by ties, white socks, bow tie, and leather Oxford shoes. This was the ideal men’s summer outfit during the era.
1910 Suit vest
Men wore a matching vest or waistcoat under the suits. The vests had a lower neckline until 1914, when high falutin vests came up, featuring a high neckline. This made the vests visible under the jackets. Mostly the vests of those times didn’t have collars or lapels. Some had 2 to 4 slash pockets that could keep a pocket watch.
1910 Men’s shirts and collars
Men wore a casual dress shirt on top of the vest. These shirts were designed, light-coloured, generally white or grey, and had subtle thin striping. The shirts were flat and smooth and were comfortable to be worn under suits and jackets. Shirt collars were high, pointed, wingtip sometimes round club collared. The first part of 1910 saw men wearing tall, stiff collars which later on was replaced by flexible, soft collars after the first world war ended. The round, flexible collars were usually made up of runner or linen and were always white.
1910 Men’s outerwear
Duster coats were popular among young men of the age. They had doughboy collars and side buttons and continued till the ankles. They were mostly light shaded like lemon, light tan, or white. These coats were usually made from twill, duck, gabardine, or palm beach fabric.
Overcoats weren’t much different from the styles of the 1900s. Types of overcoats like wool trench coats, Inverness cape, ulsterettes, and Chesterfields were most common. Overcoats had broad lapels and a long hemline. Overcoats were just below the knee length size and had a classy style of fashion, but were extremely thick because they were made from wool. A velvet black collar made the look more formal yet stylish and slender enough to be worn on top of luxury suits. Apart from wool chinchilla, melton and other materials were used to manufacture them.
Overcoats specially made for winters were full of animal fur to make them warm. For the poor, overcoats were filled up sheepskin. The furs were of varying animals ranging from a raccoon, bears to seals and rabbits.
To protect them coats from water, rubberised raincoats, or oilcloth coats were usually worn.
1910 Men’s jackets
Upper-class men wore overcoats, while working-class men wore jackets or short coats. At the beginning of the 1910s, most popular jackets for the working-class people were corduroy double-breasted jackets and the reversible leather jackets. The jackets were either waist-length or knee-length. With time, these warm and heavy jackets were worn by athletes and then became a casual attire for men with time.
What we call a pea coat today was a reefer coat in those times. It was also worn by men, especially the working-class people. These were also double-breasted, made up of wool, usually extending till hip length. They also had wide storm lapels. Reefer coat was midway between a long overcoat and a causal jacket.
1910 Men’s sweaters
During the times of the first world war, khaki knit pullover sweaters were extremely popular. Usually, women knit them, manually for their loved ones. Men wore such sweaters because they were extremely warm and comfortable. Later these sweaters replaced the trend of jackets. People started to call them sweater coats, knit coat or cardigan jackets. Earlier, the coats were dull and drab coloured. But after the world war ended, the colour was added to these sweaters or cardigans. These have large, round collars and were available in a variety of shades like grey, olive, navy blue, brown, maroon, etc. Often they had contrasting shades. Pullover sweaters were worn from now on in place of stiff jackets while sporting. Skiiers also wore brightly coloured sweaters to their expeditions. With these little developments, men’s fashion slowly changed from completely utilitarianism underwear to Trendy clothing.
We would now have a look at the working-class men’s clothing:
1910 Working-class men’s clothing
Working-class people wore casual suits and pants and didn’t pair their outfits with accessories. Hence, we don’t find many variations in their clothing. Edwardian working-class men could only afford to buy second-hand clothes from their masters and wore extremely cheap readymade outfits. They worked all day in railroads, factories, farming industries, etc., and got paid very little wages. Some industries had uniforms as a part of the employment. Some men picked up disposed of clothes from trash or garages and repaired them.
Most men’s clothing was made up of cotton, heavy wool, corduroy, the longevity of the clothes was more. When the clothes became no longer usable, the fabrics and other decorative items were cut into ties, hats, vests, and other smaller garments. The working-class men couldn’t afford to waste even a bit of clothing.
Men’s workwear clothing was dark, durable, and loose enough to allow them to move freely. No one cared about the style of clothing as long as it offered practicality. Mostly, the Edwardian clothes were based on styles of the Victorian and earn the 1900s era, having minor dissimilarities and differences. Men’s outfits were loosely fitted. Pants were secured around the waist using a belt or suspenders. Working-class people hardly wore matching outfits. Shirts were soft collared and round. Men’s clothes were rarely washed and mostly remained dirty. Men used to save good clothes for special occasions and hence wore the dirty, same clothes again and again. Most men kept one suit to wear on Sundays for attending the church rituals. But the suits were loosely fitted because they were second-hand clothing and they were hand-stitched and mismatched.
What most men had were 2 to 3 pairs of shirts, two pairs of trousers, a soft jacket, also a heavy one, two caps probably, a belt and a pair of boots. Men’s pants were made up of corduroy, wool tweed, cotton drill, and duck cloth. In the latter half of the Edwardian era, matching jackets were found, which had pockets in them. Belts were worn in the later years, especially when men went without a vest in summer.
Men’s clothing was usually navy blue, dark grey, khaki, and brown coloured. Men of high rank wore a tie whereas working men wore thin, loosely tied scarfs around their neck.
Fashion in the first half of the 1910s was characterized by practical clothing, especially for men. However, after the world war ended, we could see prominent changes in men’s clothing styles and trends. Men’s trousers were ankle-length, cuffed, and creased. With time, the developments and changes set the atmosphere for radical new fashion trends to come with the roaring 20s. Men kept short hair and curled moustaches. The lounge suit was worn as daily wear, whereas the morning and the frock coat continued to be worn to formal events and occasions. For the evening parties, men wore dark coloured tailcoats pairing it up with trousers and a waistcoat. Not only were tailcoats worn, but also the formal tuxedo was an acceptable style of an evening outfit. In short, there was a variety of clothing available for upper-class men for every occasion.
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