Talk:History of suits

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Problems with this article - who's suits? & 18th century clothing[edit]

The main problem with this article, is that in the early period it describes what aristocrats and courtiers wore, to modern "business suits". I think that this is not an appropriate apposition. It would make more sense to compare what courtiers wore 200 years ago, to what celebrities wear today.

Two hundred years ago, they did have bankers, and lawyers, and accountants, and merchants, and stockbrokers, and factory owners and other people who could reasonably be characterised as upper-middle class business professionals. And these people did not dress in the same manner as wealthy landholding hereditary aristocrats and court dandies. And they didn't dress like "peasants" either. It would be more relevant to mention the sort of "suits" these people wore.


[All the following comments are related to a European / American perspective. * Europeans were in the late 18th century 'travelling' around the world, so is probably of wider relevance anyway.]
-- Yes, in fact the upper classes adopted the professional classes / naval suits, as touched upon in the Male Renunciation text by Flugel This was a consequence and sign of moving from an aristocratic, & court dominated culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancien_Régime) to an industrialising, "rational" one - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment,

It was also a point when gender differences in dress became more marked (as in 'renunciation'). This was part of a conceptual separation between a rational 'male sphere' of industry/work and 'womans world' of fashion, shopping and the home. [obviously women in poverty still working non-stop]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_Spheres. It corresponded with (followed) the early growth of consumer goods.
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi916/week4/ , http://armstrongeconomics.com/693-2/2013-2/the-age-of-materialismconsumerism/, http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-rise-of-consumerism


This change came before 1800 and before the regency.
The move to dark somber jackets came before the move from knee breeches to trousers.

- see pictures

Unfortunately the dress of middle and lower class people is normally not so well covered in fashion history prior to world war one. How can wikipedia deal with this? http://www.history.org/history/clothing/intro/aa_cover.cfm

Mens Suits[edit]

In the intro, it is incorrect that "The modern lounge suit's derivation is visible in the outline of the brightly coloured, elaborately crafted royal court dress of the 17th century (suit, wig, knee breeches), which was shed because of the French Revolution."
This myth was expounded by Fugel, a psychoanalyst rather than a historian, in The Great Male Renunciation, and has unfortunately then been included in some fashion histories as fact.
see 'Mr and Mrs Hallett' picture, prior to the French revolution. And Mrs & Mr Andrews by Gainsborough
The shedding, by the aristocracy, may have taken place earlier in England than in France; Versailles was a more dominant force up until the revolution than the English court was.

History of womens suits[edit]

should include Yves Saint Laurents influence I think http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Smoking

And the 'New Woman'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Woman, http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/i/interactive-walking-suit-by-Womans-walking-suit,-by-jacques-doucet-about-1894/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_dress_reform, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ellimans-Universal-Embrocation-Slough-1897-Ad.png, — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.9.24.81 (talk) 00:03, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

WWII fabric rationing[edit]

A particular omission from this article. This affected design for both sexes (even years after the war), but particularly womens skirts. See Diors 'new look'. Rationing was via coupons, and happened in different places, including France (where trend-setting fashion houses were). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil_skirt#History http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Dior_S.A.#The_.22New_Look.22 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_clothing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1930–45_in_fashion#Menswear > Wartime restrictions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1930–45_in_fashion#Womenswear >The War Years

Gender issue[edit]

I think this page has a male bias. see 'who's suits?' above

Five sections that could form a useful addition[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riding_habit, http://www.janeausten.co.uk/riding-habits-throughout-history/ http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O74100/riding-habit-unknown/ / http://users.tinyworld.co.uk/sidesaddlelady/Museum%20-%20riding%20habits.html unfortunately http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportswear_(fashion) starts wayyy after sportswear started. I think prior to 1900 the differentiation between 'sportswear' and 'activewear' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportswear_(activewear)) and this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportswear makes no sense at all. Maybe it is important to certain companies nowadays but still ... old-fashioned 'sports' = "countryside activities" including horse riding, shooting ..

  • puritan styles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1600–50_in_Western_European_fashion#Simplicity_of_dress

  • modern cultural fusion

Modern non-western clothing may combine elements of traditional national clothing with elements of 'western' suit. Eg indian mens clothing for a cultural event like a wedding

  • naval & other military dress

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Navy_ranks,_rates,_and_uniforms_of_the_18th_and_19th_centuries, http://www.thedearsurprise.com/a-brief-history-of-royal-navy-uniforms/, http://www.janeausten.co.uk/officers-uniforms-of-the-british-navy/ http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/uniform_history.htm, http://www.pinterest.com/AngelaMombers/military-uniforms-through-the-ages/, pictures: http://www.pinterest.com/rklingberg/gentlemans-fashion-18th-19th-and-early-20th-centur/

  • Modern designer suits

Latter 20th Century & this 21st century.
Could include references to designers Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, and mention catwalk shows, and how these influence ready-to-wear & mass market styles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickle-down_effect

Also good to mention[edit]

  • "New Bespoke Movement".

Although not the norm, or average type of suit in the west, this has added prominence because of the use of this look by heroes of hollywood films, and wealthy celebrities (e.g. sportsmen) featured in advertising (e.g. for scent / aftershave / accessories)

  • The shorts suit

These sections could each include

  1. what these styles looked like
  2. description of cut, fit, fabric and colour
  3. a picture
  4. who wore this (*note to find out about male & female styles) - which group of people in which part of the world?
  5. when it was worn - period
  6. occasion when it was worn - if not for everyday use
  7. maybe how the style developed over history
  8. any other relevant cultural & historical information
  9. - sometimes a style is a contrast to a different style worn by a different group of people (e.g. - men vs women), to mark a difference (e.g. - different class, culture, nationality or beliefs), or a contrast to an earlier style (i.e., reflecting new culture & beliefs vs old-fashioned culture or beliefs)

late 19th / 20th Century[edit]

The move from individually tailored items to 'off the rail', the more common modern suit should be made more clear in this article. Reference to Savile Row could go here. Modern suits in high street retail may also be adapted either by the store, or by the customer taking to a dressmakers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ready-to-wear
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bespoke_tailoring
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressmaker#Related_terms - see alterations

Reference source[edit]

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/i/interactive-mans-black-wool-suit-1800-17/
might be a bit in depth! > http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?limit=15&q=suit&commit=Search&quality=1&after-adbc=AD&before-adbc=AD&orderby=date&order=desc&category%5B0%5D=28&narrow=1&collection%5B0%5D=8&offset=0&slug=0

protestant ethic...[edit]

there's also the important influence of ascetic protestant sartorial restraint on the attire of middling merchants, etc, after the reformation. black suit of the modern businessman owes something to this.

additionally, the uniform of urban guilds in the middle ages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.50.43.208 (talk) 15:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)