The 1950's

During the 1950's, the post-war rebellion had an impact on the suit. To the end of austerity, some people went back to the suit style from before the war, so lapels came wider, pants had pleats again, and it wasn’t as slim anymore.

 

Pleated pants were particularly popular because they allow for a range of movement and more comfort and that, by the way, is still true today. The vest in a three-piece suit continued to decline because central heating was well established at the time and so the need for extra heat inside had vanished. Again, it was a post war period and just like after the 1920's when there was this post-war rebellion against the previous generation’s style, the same thing happened in the fifties.

The other style of jacket was always single-breasted and had very little or no padding in the shoulders which made for a very natural silhouette which is more closely associated with Italy today but in fact, the Americans have done that for a long time too. This was a time when Brooks Brothers really dominated in American history and overall, the Ivy League style was characterized by combinations, more so than the suit. The suit was still around but sport coats have become more popular due to their increased texture and color variation.

At the end of the 1950's, we saw yet another subculture in suits known as the Mod suit. It was slim fitting with narrow lapels. It was worn with narrow ties, non-pleated pants that were very thin and straight cut. For good examples of 1950 suits, you can look at Frank Sinatra or the Rat Pack, they really epitomized the style of the time.

 

Click the 1960's