One of the hottest fashion eras of all time, the 1880s saw a new style of clothing to take shape. Known as “the Slouch” for its loose fitting and wide-legged cuts, the appearance of this fashions helped to make way for what we know today as the dressed in slacks and dress shirt. For the times, this was an advancement in style, but for many it was a look that came solely from the outside. Today, the look is one that is more accepted by the general population.
The key to getting the look was selecting clothing that was not tailored or overly stiff. Dresses were often hand-tailored and stiff materials such as satin and linen were the only choices. These types of fashions became popular for workers on construction sites. However, in time, this became a favored look among fashionable men who sought to project a laid-back image. While the tailoring process remained essentially the same, the fabrics available made the process easier and quicker for the wearer.
Dressing for the day also meant that men's clothing had to be easy to clean. No longer would garments have to be stiff or difficult to iron. A lighter touch was required on clothing when creating the relaxed look. Sweaters and cardigans were especially welcome additions to men's fashion of the time.
When it came to clothing for evening events, the focus remained on clothing that was easier to wear and clean. Trousers were the staple of men's clothing of the day. They could be easily buttoned up or down depending on the environment and the look. Trousers also minimized the risk of injuring by providing a smoother surface.
During the Industrial Revolution, tailoring became more prevalent. Clothing was no longer done just for utilitarian reasons. By improving the cloning process, more clothes were available to the working class. Trousers were no longer reserved for the wealthy. With the improvement in tailoring, clothing became less rigid and more comfortable.
Another important piece of the overall men's fashion of the time was the dress shirt. These shirts, unlike the tailored suits, did not need to be tailored to achieve a relaxed look. Instead, they were made with allowances in the fabric. This allowed for room for the neck to be slimmer and for the sleeves to be rolled down a little. A shirt with an open collar was also a popular option for men who wanted to create the relaxed look.
In general, the clothing of the day was more comfortable. The clothes were made to allow air flow to circulate within them. This was a great improvement over the rough and ready materials that were used in earlier clothing. Moreover, the clothing of the day was made to last longer and was easier to take care of.
Men's clothing of the period had many new designs and textures. Furthermore, there was something else that came about during this era of style, which is to wear clothing in unusual ways. Men of the day, who wanted to look fashionable, wore their shirt cuffs out to create an unusual appearance. Wearing clothing in unusual fashions and wearing accessories on the body helped to create the relaxed look that was so desirable.
The relaxed look was also highlighted by men who wore their pants so high they could actually see their pant legs. These pants were often open to allow full view to the buttocks area. Other clothing of the period included hats that were floppy or pulled back. Men's dress shirts were worn long and pulled to one side. Ties were tied at the right side of the neck and ears were stuffed into the shirt.
The colors of clothing at this time were also very different from what we think of today. Men and women both wore navy blues and khaki green. They also wore a lighter shade of blue for men than for women. For women, a white shirt with a dark print or solid colored tie was all the rage. Furthermore, there was this idea that the brighter the color, the better. Thus, people could be more creative with the combination of colors, prints and images to create a dazzling array of colors and patterns.
Fashionable clothing of the time was a reflection of the people themselves. If you want to get an idea of what was popular during this time, all you have to do is look through the pages of history. There are many beautiful outfits depicted in old European works that will help you understand how the fashion of the time really worked.
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