The evolution of men’s fashions over the last century was shaped primarily by major historical events, music trends, and social situations. Over the last few years, social media has become a new and powerful source of inspiration for menswear Ottawa designers, allowing the Average Joe to help direct the popular styles that he ultimately wears.
A Century of Men’s Fashion
During the Twenties, men wore daytime and nighttime outfits. The economic troubles of the Thirties affected the manufacture of clothing, so design was affected as well. Suits became more simple and were manufactured in a variety of dark colors. These colors are still the popular suit colors today. The postwar feel-good sentiment of the Forties affected men’s fashion by making it more casual. The popular mens shirts were those that evolved from the beach fashions of California and Florida.
The Fifties saw a shift back toward propriety and a more traditional business schedule. Mens dress shirts became popular again because men reclaimed their dominant role in the workforce. During the Sixties, feminine fashions inspired tighter fits, paisley, bell bottoms, and bright colors for men. This only intensified during the disco era of the Seventies when synthetics became popular and unisex clothing was all the rage.
The modern era of men’s fashion grew out of the Eighties. Men dressed in preppy attire, reflecting the decade’s bout of conservatism. The fashions of the Nineties were uniquely diverse. Each social group seemed to have their own style. Originality and vintage wear were popular. Designer jeans became intensely important to the rising generation.
Since the turn of the century, men’s fashion has been a rather consistent outgrowth of the Eighties and Nineties. Indie pop and vintage styles from previous generations were influential. Still, social media has taken on a role that perhaps no one fully anticipated. Starting around 2010, designers began taking cues from their clientele. One top designer responded to widespread Twitter pleas for women’s plus-size clothing. As with everything else, the fashion industry finally experienced the democratizing force of public opinion.
Social Media and the Future of Men’s Fashion
Many brands now listen to customers’ complaints or suggestions about sizes, fashions, and prices through social media sites. Women tend to discuss fashion more than men do, so social media has claimed a larger role in their styles. In the long term, men and women will both play a huge role in defining popular trends through social media outlets. New fashions represent the conversation between designers and customers, but designers maintain that they have the final say. They want their products to be consistent with their brand identity, but they are willing to listen and respond to feedback. Some of the feedback is so overwhelmingly common that designers have little choice but to comply.
As men take a stronger role in the online discussion about fashion, men’s clothing will represent the style that men want. In the modern era, the evolution of men’s fashion will be a direct representation of the evolution of men themselves.