Men’s Trends in the 1920s

While flappers of the Jazz Age redefined what feminine beauty could be, menswear of the 1920s defined the ideal of style for the modern American male. The slim and sleek silhouette for women permeated the male trends as well, as the athletic and trim body shape became the ideal, particularly for collegiate men. Such influences for this came from the militaristic fitness of some students who had served in World War I, like many of the male students who attended Geneva in the early part of the 1920s.[1] The clean cut ideal of the soldier carried over into the style of many; there is an absence of facial hair, as well as the overwhelming attitude of sophistication from the suits that transcends the male student body of Geneva College from 1920-1929. In addition collegiate styles were heavily influenced by the growing athletic culture in the 1920s, which brought athletic clothing undertones to the general casual wear of daily life. This is particularly seen in the growing popularity of lettermen sweaters, as early as 1924 these college and athletic specific sweaters were seen on Geneva’s campus.[2] The golf culture of the era also brought an influx of golf styled looks to college campuses, featuring knickers and knee socks, as well as fair-isle sweaters and sweater vests, this trend does not appear at Geneva until 1929, but would have been more prevalent at more prestigious universities of the East Coast.[3] Hats also played an important role in daily style, the choice of collegiate men being English driving caps and traditional felt hats, a visibly popular trend at Geneva throughout the entirety of the 1920s.[4]

Photo Credit: 1920 Genevan, McCartney Library.

Photo Credit: 1920 Genevan, McCartney Library.

Photo Credit: 1923 Genevan Yearbook, McCartney Library, Geneva College

Photo Credit: 1923 Genevan Yearbook, McCartney Library, Geneva College

Photo Credit: 1924 Genevan, McCartney Library

Photo Credit: 1924 Genevan, McCartney Library

Photo Credit 1927 Genevan McCartney Library

Photo Credit 1927 Genevan McCartney Library

Photo Credit: 1927 Genevan Yearbook, McCartney Library, Geneva College

Photo Credit: 1927 Genevan Yearbook, McCartney Library, Geneva College

Photo Credit: 1929 Genevan, McCartney Library

Photo Credit: 1929 Genevan, McCartney Library

 

 

 

 


[1] 1920 Genevan, 1921 Genevan.

[2] 1924 Genevan.

[3] 1929 Genevan.

[4] Drowne, Kathleen. The 1920s. (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 2004), chap 5.

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