What would a man in his 20s have worn


Hey all, lots of information on the women's fashion of the time. Anybody an expert on men's? I would love to know what a fashionable man in his early 20s would have worn at the time, particularly in first class. I've been fascinated with the Titanic since about 7-8 years old (it should be noted this was before Cameron's film) and am starting to research it again, and always enjoy thinking of what I would be like in that era.

What would he have worn for dinner? Daytime? Sports? Cold weather? Shoes? I know that men's clothing does not vary as much by era as woman's clothing does, but I'm still very interested. If you know and can teach me (maybe even by e-mail if it is too detailed for the forum) I'd be very appreciative.
 
According to Titanic Historians Ken Marschall and
Don Lynch, men's and women's clothing...even hair styles for men and women, too... are most accurately depicted in "A Night To Remember."
(Reference to above from the commentary on the DVD.)

This should be a good guide for your questions.

? I have a question too ?:
In "A Night To Remember" the men are shown wearing suits which are not much different from today's business suits (coat and tie, etc.) rather than more formal wear to the evening meal . Is this historically correct ?

There was also a question as to whether women would be wearing hats to the noon meal ?
 
I don't know much about this at all really, but I have always wondered a bit about how prepared Edwardians were to wear very uncomfortable clothes. The outfits, whether women's or men's, were so tight. Which makes one wonder about the undergarments.

Everyone knows that Victorian women wore horrendous corsets, to the great detriment of their health and movement, but fewer know that men did too. I don't know to what extent this was true in "Edwardian" 1912. Less, I would imagine, but they still wore tight clothing and - if they were rich - ate a lot. Hmmm. Picked at the many courses, more like, and never mind the left-overs.

It's the underwear that fascinates me - and the reasons for wearing it. I once read an account of a mistress of Edward VII disrobing for an encounter with him, and I have to say, it was hardly an impromptu occasion. It involved a maid helping her mistress out of over-garments, and a myriad of undergarments. Once the dress was removed, the lady needed help with getting out of petticoats (2), corset (1), and various other garments which intervened between corset and skin. Then she'd have had to hang around waiting for the clothing marks on her skin to diminish. After all, you can't seduce a King with corset lines all over your torso, surely. Bertie, one assumes, was smoking cigars and drinking brandy and chatting with the blokes whilst all this was going on.

Men, on the other hand, although maybe wearing corsets on occasion, were almost certainly clad in long-john underwear. Not very seductive.

In 1912, men might have been wearing fairly "modern" dress, but they had mighty underwear beneath, and they had to endure tight clothing on top. Just look at pix of the Titanic crew, and think about their jackets and caps. Horrible.

It's truly amazing what young people (or older people in denial) will do to be attractive, in the name of fashion, in any age. We've all done it. From Victorian corsets to horribly uncomfortable 21stC thongs. Biology!!
 
Aha, the stylish gent (like myself) back in 1912 did have alternatives to Long Johns for "that perfect fit that is in every part loose, easy,cooling and comforting". See below, Mon. Sadly no longer available from Dickies, though they do still supply my Long Johns (and doubtless yours too).

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Well, one does wonder. "The Underwear of a Gentleman". "Imitated but not Duplicated" and "Handled by Good Dealers Everywhere". And a foolproof guarantee, moreover, which you'd never see these days. In the 17thC?

Let's think. No, let's not. Equality legislation and political correctness make it all too dangerous. But one can have a private chuckle when ordering from Dickies, and a terrific laugh at the thought of your natty youth, Bob.
 
howdy Bob, Monica,

The underwear of a gentlemen indeed. That looks pretty comfy and just my style. I wonder if I can get that through the JC Penny Catalog.

As for the other, poroknit my eye. More like poorknit, now that is not the underwear of a gentleman. Looks like Long Johns somebody took some scissors to.

Funny you both should be talking about underwear or should I say knickers. Yes, I will use that word because I like it so. Anyways I was reading about "knickers" on a medieval website and knickers have come a long way from back in the day and yet we are going back to what underwear was in that we are simplifying it again. Well the men are.

For you see in medieval times men and women too wore what resembles boxers without the waistband. Used to be that men would use a belt to keep their underwear up and their tights too under their doublet. They would put on the belt and then fold their tights and knickers over the belt or piece of twine if they were poor. Women supposedly just wore a shift like garment that resembled a nightgown under their dress but I bet a few of them snatched their husbands underwear and tights too.

Yet in the Edwardian age underwear got so complex and so expensive too which is why it probably got complex in the first place. It isn't easy being the glass of fashion.
 
Well, George, I note that the trademark 'Poroknit' belongs now to a company who market knitted steel mesh. Ideally suited for a range of underwear had the brand been available in the Middle Ages!
 
Indeed, I bet Thomas Becket who had quite a fondness for hair shirts and mortifying the flesh would of wanted some in his stocking for Christmas.

Actually getting back to a comment earlier about tight constricting clothes, skin tight fashion really hit it's height during the 14th century with both sexes, but especially among courtiers. I wonder how the men didn't cry out in pain and vexation when they had to kneel in prayer in church wearing those tight hose. Although the chronicles that state this is written by monks quite a few make mention of it. Especially Thomas of Walsingham
 
I know this post hasn't been posted to for a few days, but Monica's thoughts reminded me of something I've always thought of, in relation to the comfort factor and the Edwardians (and earlier.)

In that, I really doubt there was all that much preparation for wearing uncomfortable clothing - I mean, I'm sure there were some types of clothing that WERE considered uncomfortable by those in the time, but considering that they grew up knowing very little different - and perhaps seeing more restrictive clothing - they might have considered the clothing of the Edwardian period more "comfortable" than those that they grew up with, or spent their young-adulthood wearing.

Now, this kind of relates to the whole "tight" thing about clothes - because when looked at in the context of the fashions that preceded the Edwardian period, they really weren't all that tight. This is especially true in mens fashion - the morning coat of 1912 was far less fitted than the morning coat of 1885. Starting in the 1890s, there was a great deal more freedom given in the cut of clothes - even to a degree in womens' fashion. While the hobble-skirts of 1910 inhibited walking, the bodices, I think were far less fitted than the tight fitting basques and cuirass bodices of the 1870s and 1880s - and even those were far less restrictive than the intricately boned bodices, combined with the stiff pelerines and jockey-sleeves of the 1840s.

I think it's really difficult for us these days to reconcile what appears normal or comfortable to our modern eyes with what was modern or comfortable to the eyes of those living a hundred years ago, and we always project how we would feel in their circumstances upon them - and how they would react to a world that they grew up in knowing nothing better, and thus we imagine that they were incredibly uncomfortable, unhappy, and depressed - and from time to time, they probably were, yet what seems so foreign to us was all they knew.

I'm not making much sense here, but I keep finding myself coming back to that route of thinking. It makes much better sense in my head than it does on paper.
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I understand what you saying Brandon in that folks back then probably did not know anything better and 'did' wear corsets and starch collars by choice or to be glass of fashion as the saying went.

Also we do now days do tend to look back on those fashions and think how we would hate wearing them. But that is a natural enough reaction and we know for the most part that the people of the past wore those types of clothes they wore and thought themselves quite progressive to in their day which they probably were when you consider what their parents were wearing.

Actually fashion was pretty progressive starting with the renaissance. Before that during the medieval era fashion changed very slowly if at all every 50 years or so.
 
Actually in regard to my last post there was a time when clothes were comfortable and informal only to become formal and uncomfortable again and I am kicking myself for not remembering this era of fashion earlier.

What I am talking about is the regency, empire or neoclassical women's styles of 1795 to 1820. which is my favorite era of fashion. hence I can't believe I forgot it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1795%E2%80%931820_in_fashion

after 1820-25 women's cloths would then again become uncomfortable with the reintroduction of the corset or tighter stays and too many petticoats. The Victorian era of fashion.

However this topic has to do with what men were wearing so this post really doesn't apply even though men's fashions changed dramatically during the empire, regency era they did not become comfortable like women's fashions did still I felt I should mention this dramatic chance for the better in fashions as an era in fashion when people of Europe did know better fashion wise and used comfort and ease in clothing themselves or at least the women did.
 
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