- 1920s and 1930s- Along with pinstripe suits, fedoras became an essential for the well dressed man. Today they are still very popular. To add a little bit of 20s style to your wardrobe, try a brown suit with a cream colored vertical pinstripe. Or, add a wide brimmed fedora to your favorite outfit. You can also wear these elements together, but if you do, anchor the look with a modern shirt, tie and shoe. This is a key to appearing like you are wearing a vintage style, not like you are wearing a costume. For a more subtle dash of 1920s style, try a tie with an art deco print on it.
- 1940s- The 40s were divided into two distinct eras of pre-war and post-war. Perhaps the most memorable men's style of this decade is the zoot suit of the swing era, which became popular after the war's end. You can duplicate this look today by selecting a suit jacket with broad shoulders, and high waisted pants that taper at the bottom. Jackets at this time were almost always double breasted which has increased in popularity lately. For a more subtle nod to the 40s, add a pocket square, a pair of wing tipped shoes and a pair of suspenders to your favorite suit. Ties at this time were generally flamboyant, in bright colors and bold patterns. This is a great trend to copy today. But if you wear a bright tie, make sure to also wear the appropriate necktie accessories,because with everyone looking at it, you will want to make sure it stays in place all day.
- 1950s- The 1950s were known as the "Boom Times" and leisure wear began to make an appearance in men's wardrobes. For a 1950s leisure look, try a Hawaiian print shirt, or a polo shirt, both of which first became popular during this decade. For a more youthful look, try wearing black Converse One Star shoes with your denim, or go for the Ivy League look by layering a slim cardigan sweater or a letterman's jacket over your polo shirt. The 1950s also brought about the Beatnik look, with black as the dominant color. Look for a slim fit black chenille or wool sweater and wear it untucked over your trousers for a retro Beatnik vibe.
- 1960s- When we think 60s, we often first think "hippie." But early in the decade, before the hippie movement, we saw the Beatles make their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in their classic gray slim cut suit, black square toe shoes and black skinny ties. This slim cut look is making a huge comeback now in 2011. The skinny tie (which also became popular again in the 80s) is in style again today. It can inject just the right amount of 60s retro feel into an outfit.
- 1970s- The white polyester suit and bell bottom pants are trends that I would recommend skipping from the 70s! But this decade has other great fashion to offer us today. For 70s retro style hints, look at Roger Moore as James Bond for inspiration. Try a simple brown chenille turtleneck sweater layered underneath a dark blue velvet blazer. Thick fabrics like velvet and creased wool really evoke the era of the 70s (without being too disco). If you still like the white suit look, do it in a natural fabric, such as linen, rather than polyester.
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