What Did Men Wear to Formal Events in the 1920s?


Quick Answer

In the 1920s, men wore tuxedos, jackets with tails, vests and pleated pants to very formal events. Some men preferred dressing down for less-formal events, though this meant white or pastel classic dress shirts, a tie or ascot, trim jackets and pleated pants.

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Full Answer

At the dawn of the 1920s, men wore sacque suits to all but the more formal occasions. This traditional suit had a four-button high-neck coat and straight-legged pants. Most men wore starched, long-sleeved white shirts with this suit, and some wore vests as well.

During very formal evening events, men wore starched white shirts with high collars and a bow tie, and their coats always had tails. At less-formal events, or those that took place in the late afternoon, some men preferred wearing more conservative suits. These suits had tightly fitted jackets with a high waist and narrow shoulders. Slim wool coats became fashionable in the 1920s, though many men still wore a heavy fur coat on top of their wool coat.

While most men in the 1920s wore black patent leather shoes to formal events, some fashion-forward men paired tuxedos with wingtip shoes, a nod to the dawning jazz age. As the 1930s neared, most men wore three-piece suits only to very formal events, favoring instead narrow-cut lounge suits and a simple tie.

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