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Costume Components for Men in New Look and Beyond (1947-1964)

Costume Components for Men in New Look & Beyond (1947-1964)

Chhanda Mollick
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University),
Khulna, Bangladesh


Costume for men : 1947-1964

The major elements of Costume Component for Men immediately after the war showed no significant changes, styles made no radical departures from those of the wartime period and before.

Costume component for men:

Undergarments : Boxer shorts, jockey-type shorts, athletic shirts and T-shirts remained much the same, but the variety of fabrics and colors in which these items were manufactured and increased.

Fig : 1.1 Jockey-type shorts fig : 1.2 boxer shorts fig : 1.3 long athletic shorts

Business suits : 1940s
Jackets :

broad-shouldered jackets had lapel with a long roll. Double-breasted suits predominated. Jackets were somewhat longer than during wartime years.

Business suits : 1940s
Fig : 1.4 (Broad-shouldered suit)                                     Fig : 1.5 (Double-breasted suit)

Pants : After wartime restrictions were lifted in the United States in 1945, most pants legs were cuffed.

Pants during 1945s
Fig :1.6 (Pants during 1945s)

Shirts : These tended to have wide collars. Cotton shirts had long, also had nylon shirts.

Fig : 1.7 ( Wide collared shirts)                                                         Fig :1.8 (Most formal shirts)

Business suits : 1950s

The Edwardian influences, evident in the Teddy boy styles, moved mainstream menswear away from the English drape cut. The outcome was a suit with less padding in the shoulders and narrower silhouette. Single-breasted styles were prevailed. Dark gray (called charcoal) was the most popular shade.

Narrower lapels and single-breasted cut
Fig : 1.9 (Narrower lapels and single-breasted cut)

Shirts :

It was the shirts worn with the gray flannel suits that provided touches of color – sometimes pink or light blue. Shirts most often had small collars either buttoned-down style or they were fastened together under the tie with tie pins.

Business suits : Later 1950s and early 1960

Suits altered in cut, as men abandoned the gray flannel suit. Fashion writers the new suits with shorter jackets, a closer fit through the torso and rounded, cut-away jackets fronts, continental suits.

Bussiness suits
Fig : 1.10 (Ambassador suits) Fig :1.11 (Continental suits)

Outdoor garments:

Broad-shouldered styles of the late 1940s and made coat with trimmer, narrower lines. Some styles specific styles included tan polo coats, tweed, checked and small-patterned fabric coats and raglan-sleeved coats. In the late 1950s wraparound, belted coats were revived.

Fig : 1.12 (Polo coats)                                                          Fig : 1.13 (Belted coats)
Outdoor garments
Fig : 1.14 (Tweed coats )                                               Fig : 1.15 (Belted overcoats in the late 1950s)

Casual coat:

Coats for casual wear were made in great variety. Generally either hip or waist length, made in light or heavy weight fabrics set in raglan sleeves with buttoned or zippered closings. Casual coats were made in a variety of sturdy fabrics.

Casual coats
Fig : 1.16 (Casual coats) Fig : 1.17 (Waist-length casual coats)

Evening dress:

Generally evening wear consisted tuxedos or dinner jackets. White dinner jackets were worn in summer. About 1950s a light blue dinner jackets in a color called French blue was noted.

Tuxedos or dinner jackets
Fig :1.18 (Tuxedos or dinner jackets)

Sports jackets :

Sports jackets reflected the cut of business suits. During the gray flannel era sports jackets of tartan plaids were popular. Leather-buttoned corduroy jackets, checked, plaid and Indian madras plaids were also fashionable.

Corduroy sports jackets
Fig : 1.19 (Corduroy sports jackets)

Casual trousers (slacks) :

In the 1950s casual trousers were slim and straight made with a small belt. In the late 1950s, self-belts and belt-less trousers were worn.

Sports trousers
Fig : 1.20 (Sports trousers)

Shorts :

About 1954s Bermuda or walking shorts, formerly worn in the 1930s were revived for general sportswear, combined with knee-length stockings.

Fig : 1.21 (Walking shorts) Fig :1.22 (Bermuda shorts)

Sports  shirts :

In the immediate postwar period sports shirts reflected the wide-collared styling of more formal shirts. They were made in bright colors.

Sports shirts
Fig : 1.23 (Sports polo shirts)                                           Fig : 1.24 (Formal sports shirts)

Sleepwear : In the postwar period men preferred pajamas to night-shirts.

Fig : 1.25 (Night-shirts)

Hair and headdress:

After World War ll, some men continued to wear short crew cuts like those given to soldiers. When hair was cut flat on top, it was called a flat top. Crew cuts and duck’s ass or D.A. were worn by younger and also older men.

Hair style
Fig : 1.26 (Crew cuts)                         Fig : 1.27 (Flat top)                   Fig : 1.28 (Duck’s ass or D.A)


Straw hats for summer followed the lines of the fedora hat brims decreased in size. The sports hat included the tyrolean hat, flat crowned cap, pork pie hat, classic, classic bowler hat  etc.

Fig : 1.29 (Straw hats)                                 Fig : 1.30 ( Fedora hats)                    Fig : 1.31 (Tyrolean hats)
Fig : 1.32 ( Flat crowned cap)           Fig : 1.33 (Pork pie hats)                        Fig : 1.34 (Top hats)


These were made of synthetic fibers made possible. These were available in a variety of patterns and styles.

Synthetic stockings early 1960s
Fig :1.34 (Synthetic stockings early 1960s)
Hand stockings
Fig 1.35 (Hand stockings)


Different types of leather are used, the color and style detailing, the same type of shoes could be used by manufacturers to make shoes for either dress or casual wear. White buck-skin shoes known as white bucks were part of the uniform of casual clothing for college students.

Fig : 1.36 (Leather shoes)                                   Fig 1.37 (White bucks shoes)

Accessories :

For men accessories were limited to functional items : wrist-watch, handkerchiefs, umbrellas etc.

Wrist watch)
Fig :1.38 (Wrist watch)                         Fig : 1.39 (Umbrellas)                Fig : 1.40 (Handkerchief)


Jewelry such as rings, necklace,  identification bracelets, cuff links and tie pins.

Men’s Rings
Fig : 1.41 (Men’s Rings)
Men’s Bracelets
Fig : 1.42 (Men’s Bracelets)
Men’s Necklace
Fig 1.43 (Men’s Necklace)
Cuff Links
Fig : 1.44 (Cuff Links)
Tie Pins
Fig : 1.45 (Tie Pins)



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