When watching motion pictures from the 1930s and 1940s, it always appeared that everyone, whether it was the starring cast or extras, were always well-dressed. The women were regularly wearing dresses or skirts, while the men were usually sporting suits. All of this at home, too!
James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant and Edward G. Robinson were just some of the actors that defined this generation. In nearly every film, they were always dressed very well. However, for the fashion of this forgotten time, it was the little things that contributed to the wardrobe. These nuances accentuated the style of these men’s wardrobes.
Since the fashion of the 1930s, 1940s and even 1950s are trying to be replicated on the modelling runways and magazines today, men may want to add a few tidbits to fully complement their vintage clothing. Be warned, though, it may garner a few looks from the general public, as most men don’t wear or carry around these items anymore.
Here are 5 fashion must-have for men wanting to relive the 1940s style of clothing:
1. Fedora Hats
Ah, fedora hats. The trademark of anyone living from the 1920s to the 1960s. Usually, when we think of fedora hats, we tend to think of the prohibition era bootleggers or the gangsters from the old 1940s gangster Warner Bros. pictures. If you ever want to dress like you’re from this era then you definitely need fedora hats. No, you won’t look like you’re from reddit, and who cares, there’s actually a website called youshouldntwearthatfedora.tumblr.com.
2. Walking Sticks
Today, when we think of walking sticks, or canes, we tend to believe that the person is carrying it around because they recently had an injury, they have a terrible limp, or they’re just getting older. Well, back in the day, men would carry them around during their walks. It was just a part of the fashion.
According to Muck Boots blog post, using a walking stick is actually good for your walk. “Walking with a pole helps you develop a steadier rhythm, and this consistent pace results in a faster average walking speed. There’s often a natural tendency to start off too rapidly at the beginning of a trek, which leads to extreme tiredness and a slow speed later on. A walking stick helps maintain consistency from start to finish.”
In most cases, men don’t need to wear suspenders when they have belts. However, suspenders were really big back in the day. As they pontificated on any given topic while pacing around the room, they’d have their thumbs in their suspenders (the same goes with vests). Unfortunately, today we only picture heavier set gentlemen wearing suspenders.
4. Black & White Saddle Shoes
Black and white saddle shoes were first introduced in the American fashion scene in the 1920s. It didn’t become ubiquitous until the late 1930s and last until about the late 1950s. Again, they were stylised by the fashion of Al Capone, John Dillinger and other famous gangsters from this era.
Also, if you don’t want to spend money on these two toned shoes, you could always purchase a pair of spats and portray yourself as a modern day George Raft.
5. Pocket Watches
With smartphones, smart watches and plain old analog wrist watches, we really don’t need pocket watches. At the same time, it’s a throwback to see pocket watches in store windows, mostly pawn shops or antique/collectible stores. If there is one accessory that you have to own for your 1940s-style wardrobe then it’s definitely a pocket watch.
Final Thoughts & more pics for inspo…
Although the U.S. was engulfed in the ladder part of the Great Depression and then later stuck in World War II, the 1940s was a very interesting time for millions of Americans. From superb radio shows to classic films, it appeared that there was a lot of entertainment unfolding in the Land of the Free throughout this decade.
So, put on some Glenn Miller, light your pipe, take your dame out to the pictures and pretend Franklin Delano Roosevelt is president again.
And now, your turn: thoughts about men in retro styles… 🙂