Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fashion From the 1930s

If you want to have fun with your fashion statement one technique that never fails is to go back in time at least 50 years. Through the miracle of television re-runs they are still running the old shows from those years and so you don’t have to guess what they were wearing. By watching the old shows you can see for yourself that the styles were more simple and the haircuts were clean.

One of our favorite shows from that time is “Leave it to Beaver” because of the innocence in the troubles that the “Beav” got in to. If he got a bad grade at school, that was a major catastrophe. Nowadays simply being able to go to school and staying in school regardless of the grades received is a miracle for many high school, junior high, and elementary students.

What can the “Beav” teach us about fashion? Plenty. Simple is still cool. A baseball hat is still cool. You can mess up your dress pants, but you cannot really harm your jeans. Your older brother (or other men) do not look any better than you do, they only think they do. Your Dad may know a lot of stuff but he is not really to be trusted when it comes to fashion advice. Nor should you follow the examples set by others who actually have less of a clue about what to wear than you understand. Your mom does know best (Barbara Billingsley who played Beaver’s mom just died at the ripe old age of 94, bless her heart).

If you think you are immune to Beav-fashion, then think again. Every time you put on your jeans you can thank the Beav, because it was in the 1950’s that jeans changed from being work clothes to being cool to wear everyday and to wear to school. James Dean had a lot to do with that, but so did the Beav. The clean cut look is still as fashionable as ever. Short hair cuts (in the olden days they were called crew-cuts) are as fashionable today as they were 60 years ago.

Short hair, shiny shoes, cotton shirts with or without patterned ties, a sweater or that existential leather jacket are still a very cool look. Interesting to note is that the very short haircut (also called the buzz cut) went from being the average All-American male fashion choice in the 1950s to being part of the radical fringe three decades or so later. As with all fashion trends, old became new again.

There is definitely a place in current men’s fashion for a clean cut look as evidenced by the designs of Abercrombie & Fitch or J Crew. These and other designers specialize in this look. It is not age restricted to teenagers either. Men of all ages can wear a nice pair of jeans with a casual cotton shirt. They look great when they also take the time to polish their shoes. You can get a close cut hair cut at your nearest Super Duper cuts and with a nice cardigan sweater you can complete the “preppy” look and be completely in fashion.