1920′s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide1920′s fashion for men was the start of menswear as we know it today.  Only minor changes in menswear have come about since the 1920′s. It was a time of classic sophistication with a level of fun that I haven’t seen since. Suit colors were mostly neutral with patterns but the accessories popped with vibrant  colors- just like they did for women’s 1920′s fashion. Popular TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey have brought back the appeal for 1920s mens fashion suits today.

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

Click to Learn How to Dress like Downton Abbey Men

1920′s Fashion for Men:  Suits

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920s Mens Fashion- Suits and Hats

The essential part of a 1920s man’s wardrobe was his suit. For day, evening, office, or parties a man always wore a suit. The only exceptions were for blue collar workers or young teen and college men who dressed more casually. But even they owned suits and wore them with pride.

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit GuideWhat sets 1920s mens suits apart from other decades are the material and fit. Suits were mostly made of thick wool or a wool tweed and pants made of wool based flannel which made them heavier than today’s suit materials but lighter than the previous decades. Suit jackets were either single or double breasted and featured 3 or 4 buttons up the front. The top button came to the center of the heart giving way to notch lapels. The highness of the lapels is what really sets 1920′s suits apart from suits of other eras.  Many suits feature two sets of flap pockets which is another characteristic of 1920′s suits not seen since. The colors, on the other hand, were similar to previous years: browns, blues, grey’s, and greens. Patterns could be solid tone or vivid plaids, checks and even thick stripes in the summer months (like Barbershop Quartet suits.) Read more about 1920s mens suit history.

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1927 Mens Fashion Suits

 Pants or Trousers

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920′s Oxford Bags Style

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920 Mens Pants

The suit pants always matched the suit jacket. They had two single pleats at the top and  a sharp crease down the front of the legs. Pockets were slit on the side and welt on the back with one button closure. The pants hung down to only mid ankle. This exposed the socks which were worn high up the leg calf and secured with sock garters. Socks were usually plain, stripped or argyle pattern. Unlike previous decades, men’s pants started had fold up cuffs at the bottoms. The pant legs were fairly narrow in the first half of the 1920′s (the jazz look) and wide by the second half. Collegiate men took these new wide leg styles to the extreme by wearing “oxford bags” which had leg widths of up to 16 inches! Learn more about 1920s mens pants.

Vests or Waistcoats

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920′s Mens V Vest

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit GuideUnlike today’s two piece suits men’s 1920′s fashion required a 3 piece suit with matching vest. Vests also called waistcoats were high V necks with full body coverage. It was a fashion faux pax to have a shirt exposed between the pants and vest. To help avoid this mistake men’s pants were also very high, sitting above the bellybutton, secured by suspenders or a leather belt. Suspenders were buttoned on to pants since modern suspender clips had not been invented yet.

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit GuideA more casual alternative to the matching vest was a contrasting knit wool pullover vest. Single color smooth knit or two color cable knit vests kept a man warm in winter. They were especially fashionable for golfers who paired them with a pair of knickers, argyle socks, and flat cap hat. Learn more about 1920s mens sweaters and knit vests. 

1920′s Fashion: Mens Shirts

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920′s Mens Striped Shirts

Underneath the vest was where the fun 1920′s fashion began. 1920s shirts were made of colorful vertical stripes in a mixture of colors- tan, green, blue, lilac, sage green, yellow and pink (yes pink!) Solid colors in the same light shades were available in the late 1920s.  Shirt collars were round (club collars), pointed and free (classic or spread), or pointed and buttoned down- just like today’s varieties. Most were attached collars but many still came in detachable white. Shirts with attached collars were either made with the same material or were white. The white collar against the solid or striped shirt really gives it a 1920′s fashion statement. If you want to make another fashion statement wear a collarless shirt (also known as a mandarin collar shirt.) The Great Gatsby shocked the fashionable world by wearing a shirt without a collar and then everyone copied him.

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

French Cuff Striped White Collar Shirt

The cuffs are the final unique shirt element. They were usually french or button cuffs to be worn with a pair of snazzy cuff links.Cuff links were often monogrammed with the owners initials.  Wealthy men also wore shirt links with their nice dress shirts for a bit more high class.

Read more about 1920′s mens dress shirts and collars history.

1920′s Fashion: Neck Ties and Bow Ties

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit GuideThe other fun bit of color on a 1920′s mens outfit was the neckwear. Men either wore a bow tie in fun stripes or polka dots, a striped or plaid necktie, or a neck scarf tie. Bow ties were the self tying variety and usually had a thick or puffy look to them. Neckties had diagonal stripes, plaid, check, or an art deco inspired pattern. Solid bright colors made of wool or silk were also common such as yellow, orange, red or green (think 1970′s colors.) They were narrow and short (a few inches above the pants which were already high up.) Thin knit ties were another option with square edges or fringed edges.

The last option is the more casual scarf tie popular in the early 20s. The sca1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guiderf was a thin patterned rectangular silk scarf draped around the neck, tied, and the bottom piece wrapped back and over the knot (see picture.) The ends of neck scarfs and neck ties were pointed in a V however a few neckties were also cut straight at the boom and some even had fringe. A scarf tie was worn with the shirt’s top button undone or over a collarless shirt and tucked behind a knit vest. Read more about the history of mens ties and bowties or shop for a new 1920s style tie. 

1920′s Fashion: Men’s Accessories

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit GuideThe two other items of color popped up in gloves and pocket squares. Often these two items matched each other and tied into a color on the necktie.. Bright colors like yellow or red gloves were a favorite choice over the traditional black, brown or gray gloves. They were made of thin leather and buttoned at the wrist sometimes with scalloped edges but usually cut straight. These are the modern equivalent of unlined driving gloves and are usually hard to find in bright colors. The pocket square is a decoration only handkerchief, made of silk, folded into a triangle and place in the suit’s chest pocket.

More 1920′s Mens Fashion

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920s Style Shoes

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

1920s Mens Hats

The 1920′s look isn’t quite done. Now we need to add some 1920′s shoes and hats. Read about them here at 1920′s Mens Hats and 1920′s Mens Shoes.

 

 

Are you ready to make a 1920′s fashion statement? You can easily make a 1920′s outfit from vintage inspired modern clothes. Learn how to create these 6 different looks. 

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

Six 1920′s Men’s Looks

Here are some great clothes to get your started:

Buy more mens 1920s style clothing: Suits, shirts, vests, shoes, hats, and ties

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

1920's Dot Bow Tie

$59.50

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

JB Stetson Cap - The Hatteras Linen Newsboy

$75.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Italian Leather Two-tone Wingtip Oxford Shoe

$160.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

1920s Style Mens Plaid Summer Suit

$180.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Luxury 140's Satin Stripe Straight Collar French Cuff Trim Fit Dress Shirt

$40.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Non-Iron 2-Ply 100% Cotton Broadcloth Straight Collar French Cuff Dress Shirt

$30.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

2-Ply Cotton Pinpoint Oxford Straight Collar French Cuff Trim Fit Dress Shirt

$60.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Non-Iron 2-Ply 100% Cotton Pinpoint Straight Collar French Cuff Dress Shirt

$30.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

2-Ply Cotton Bold Satin Stripe Club Collar French Cuff Dress Shirt

$40.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Stacy Adams Men's Silver Two-button Vested Suit

$94.99

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Signature Gold 2-Button Wool Suit- Tan Plaid

$495.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Signature Gold 2-Button Wool Suit- Blue/Grey Fashion Plaid

$495.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Big and Tall Tallia Orange Formal 3-Pc Chalk Stripe Suit

$748.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Stays Cool 3-Button Seersucker Suit

$395.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

2-Button Seersucker Tailored Fit Suit

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Jones New York Men's Trent 2 Btn Shadow Stripe Suit

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Giorgio Fiorelli Men's Navy Shadow Stripe 2-Button Vested Suit

$145.99

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Riente Milano Charcoal Stripe 3-Button Side Vent Suit

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Vanetti Brown Shadow Stripe 4 Button Suit

$107.00

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Riente Milano Black Stripe 3-Button Side Vent Suit

$199.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Riente Milano Navy Stripe 3-Button Side Vent Suit

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Nice 3PC 3 Button Taupe Tone On Tone Stripe Mens Suit

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Riente Milano Charcoal Stripe 3-Button No Vent Suit

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Bendetti Men's Charcoal Shadow Stripe Wool 4-button Suit

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Suit Total Comfort 2-Button Navy Stripe Wool

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Twenties Style Cotton Sweater Pullover Vest

$89.50

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100% Cotton Seersucker Six-Button Suit Separate Vest

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Stripe D-ring Pleated Pants

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Windowpane D-ring Pleated Pants

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Men's Brown Wide Leg Pleated Trousers Unhemmed CLOSEOUT

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100% Cotton Denim D-ring Flat Front Pants

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100% Cotton Seersucker Flat Front Suit Separate Pants

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Golf Pants Work Great as 1920s Style Mens Pants

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Men's Black Wide Leg Pleated Trousers Unhemmed CLEARANCE

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

High End Men's Scala Straw Boater Hat - The Boater Hat

$195.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

1900s Bollman Collection Homburg

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Chaplin Panama Bowler

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Moran Bowler

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Wigens Ivy Cap - The Harris Tweed Hans Ivy

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Godfather Homburg

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Men's Christys' London Fur Felt Bowler Hat - The Chaplin

$295.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Larsey Cap Toe Shoe by Johnston & Murphy

$135.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Boardwalk Empire Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoes

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Gangster Handmade Light Brown Italian Leather Wingtip Dress Shoes

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Big and Tall Allen Edmonds® Strand Cap-Toe Oxford Dress Shoes

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Boardwalk Empire Two-tone Wingtip Oxford Shoes

$630.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Dots Woven Silk Pre-Tied Bow Tie

$33.00

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Wolverine Men's Horace Shoes (Brown)

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L.B. Evans Men's Duke Opera Shoes (Black Leather)

$49.99

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Blue Silk Blue And Gold Stripe Self Tie Bow Tie Elite

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Scoula Self Tie Bow Tie by Principessa Regale - Gold Silk

$30.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

1920's Charlie Chaplin Halloween Costume

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Six-Button Notch Lapel Plaid Vest

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Perry Ellis Portfolio Suit Comfort Stretch Charcoal Stripe Slim Fit

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100% Linen Six-Button Notch Lapel Windowpane Vest

$50.00

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100% Linen Six-Button Notch Lapel Stripe Vest

$50.00

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100% Linen Six-Button Notch Lapel Windowpane Vest

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Six-Button Notch Lapel Houndstooth Vest

$50.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Windowpane D-ring Pleated Pants

$65.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Linen & Wool Two-Button Notch Lapel Stripe Sport Coat

$140.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Wool & Linen Solid Two-Button Notch Lapel Suit

$360.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Linen Two-Button Notch Lapel Plaid Sport Coat

$120.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Sean John Grey Plaid Suit

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Lauren by Ralph Lauren Tan Glen Plaid Suit Big and Tall

$299.99

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Italian Canvas & Leather Cap Toe Oxford Shoe

$100.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Italian Suede & Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoe

$160.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Johnston & Murphy Men's Ellington Linen Wing Tip T

$135.00

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Italian Leather & Canvas Oxford Shoe

$160.00

Buy at: Paul Fredrick MenStyle

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Italian Leather Cap Toe Spectator Oxford Shoe

$200.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Italian Leather Two-tone Wingtip Oxford Shoe

$160.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Cotton Cable Button Front Sweater Vest

$20.00

Buy at: Paul Fredrick MenStyle

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

Silk Satin Solid Suspenders

$60.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Wool Wide Stripe Three-Button Notch Lapel Suit

$380.00

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1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Wool Three-Button Notch Lapel Windowpane Sport Coat

$260.00

Buy at: Paul Fredrick MenStyle

1920s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide
 

100% Wool Two-Button Notch Lapel Stripe Sport Coat

$250.00

Buy at: Paul Fredrick MenStyle

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About Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions is passionate about wearing history through fashion. She and her husband, Oscar, have turned their hobby into a career by teaching others how to re-create vintage style with affordable new vintage inspired clothing and accessories. We connect shoppers to the best vintage inspired clothing, shoes and accessories to buy online making VintageDancer a great place to start your shopping. When not working Debbie and Oscar enjoy living in their vintage 1920's house and raising their new baby girl in Reno, Nevada, USA

2 thoughts on “1920′s Fashion for Men: A Complete Suit Guide

    1. Debbie Sessions Post author

      In winter men wore scarves. They were called mufflers and were usually knit silk or knit wool. Solid colors like brown and grey were common as well as stripes in all sorts of colors. All white was a good scarf for more formal looks or white with small patterns. With formal suits they might have been worn while traveling but taken off while inside. The look of men wearing red or white silk scarves with formal suits came about in the 1940′s. Sinatra wore them often.

      Reply

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