Sunday, December 29, 2013

Slightly off topic but here's why there are so few men's clothes on this site

From the seller:

Treasures from THE PHILADELPHIA / DELAWARE VALLEY COLLECTION at The Willing Mind. By exclusive arrangement with The Grand Review.

Print size 16 x 24, and consciously formatted to work with a 16 x 24 frame, or custom framed as you see fit.

This is a new large format print of a very early 20th century photograph in our collection. It cannot be before 1903, because he is wearing an early incarnation of a Stormy Kromer cap, and Stormy didn't go into real production until 1903.

What I love here is the total look. Real work boots that have seen real work (I was in the Laborer's Union as a night shift sand hog in the late 70s while going to college during the day, and I went through boots!) A work shirt that looks like half a dozen of the shirts in my dresser at home. A vest that I imagine is likely roughout suede, raw shearling side facing in. Topping it all off a beloved Stormy Kromer, which is my winter hat of choice though mine has a less pronounced crown.

A better description of the jeans I leave to the antique jeans experts that I hope see this posting, and I will post their comments here.

From Me:

Give the guy a shave, turn the vest safety cone orange, and I swear I see a dozen people like him every single day along I-95 (main interstate on the East Coast of the United States). This photo is 100+ years old yet does anyone see anything that signals that out other than the way this guy trims his facial hair? Sorry guys, but you lost your sense of fashion sometime in the mid Victorian age. It started to die in the Regency time period - when blue and brown became the go to colors and black was seen as perfect all the time for gentleman- but was completely killed off in the Victorian age.

This is why I don't have many guys' outfits up on this site. Mens' fashions haven't changed in over 100 years. Even the guy in the photo is wearing the basic shoes, jeans, and long sleeved "t-shirt". It's hard to get excited over something that hasn't become drastically different in a century. Even most outfits from 200 years ago aren't ridiculously different from today:

Angle that vest, yank off that cravat and put a tie in it's place, and take off those shoes - you have pretty much modern formal wear while wearing a trench coat. Well, he'd need shoes, but other than that...

The point is that I don't post much gentlemen's clothing because it hasn't changed. Ladies clothing changed dramatically over the decades up until, really, 1966. Women's fashion only just died - guys fashion died a long time ago.


  1. It's so unfortunate, but true! :(

    1. :-) I didn't want people to think I was simply ignoring the guys clothing - it's just impossible to date without looking at it in person. Much like some of the newer pieces for women's clothing look like the stuff my Mom or even Grandma wore 40 or 50 years ago.

  2. Sadly true. Changing the length of a trouser leg or width of a lapel by a half inch is about as radical changes as we get. I guess that's good for movie costume makers though, saves on wardrobe... making menswear is SO much work.

    1. Most movie costumers have large standing wardrobes they can sue - which is why you often see the same dress or outfit in two or three different movies.

      Guys outfits tend not to be any more difficult to me in comparison to gals - but a lot of the stuff I sew is 16th Century might be different later on.

    2. Exactly, more leeway to reuse the men's costumes due to the almost identical styles over many decades. I don't know, maybe it's that menswear is newer to me... but the canvas construction with pad-stitching and all - and I feel tailoring the fit is different.