|Creation of the Man’s Suit|
|The Suit in the 19th Century|
|Men’s Dressing Gown and Waistcoat Fabrics|
|Men’s Accessories in the 19th Century|
|Neckties and Cravats|
|Men’s Accessories in the 20th Century|
|Tailoring for Women|
|Appropriating the Dandy|
|Contrast Between the Modern Suit and Feminine Fashion|
|Mid-Century America: Conformity in Suburbia|
|Mid-Century Humor: Conversational Textiles|
|Contemporary Tailoring for Men|
|Menswear Fabrics - A Glossary|
THE SUIT IN THE 19TH CENTURYWhile Paris remained the center of female fashion in the 19th century, London became the capital of masculine style. London also gave birth to the dandy, a male type, famously associated with George Bryan “Beau” Brummell. Lauded by the French writer, Charles Baudelaire, the dandy did much to advance the popularity and importance of dark suits. Elegant and ineffably “cool,” the dandy was a creature of immaculate grooming and reductive elegance. An ever widening circle of men from all levels of society began to wear the suit as a symbol of authority, respectability, and both conformity and defiance. Technical advancements in production allowed manufacturers to produce ready-to-wear versions at reasonable prices. These affordable suits were worn by a broad swath of the male population, especially in the United States. Expensive custom-tailored ensembles, however, were reserved for the wealthy.
All photographs by Irving Solero, courtesy of the Museum at FIT, unless otherwise noted.