As many already know, accessories are great way to individualize your outfit and create a unique look. This is especially true in spring and summer when lighter and brighter colors are worn with hats, sunglasses etc. Recently, I came across an interesting Apparel Arts illustration of accessories worn in the US in 1932 by Fell Sharp. While some of them probably look a bit dated and old fashioned, others are perfectly wearable today.
No. 1— The gray shirt features a collar pin as well as a green and red striped necktie. Although there are numerous shades of white and eggshell available, gray shirt fabrics have pretty much vanished. When worn with strong colors like in this picture and in combination with e.g. a brown coat, it can look very good though. The collar pin is absolutely wearable today and perfect for casual wear.
No. 2—The starched collar with rounded corners requires a shirt for detachable collars, which is a bit impractical for everyday wear and provides an old world look.
No. 3— Considering that there are only very few people around who still wear hats, a green Snapbrim is pretty flashy regardless of whether you wear a feather in your hatband or not. Especially in summer, another elegant hat option is the Panama Hat.
No. 4—Madras bow ties in cotton or blends of linen, cotton and silk are a great summer accessory. Paired with an off-white jacket it can look quite handsome. While it does not really matter whether you wear a butterfly or a batwing bow tie, flat or pointed ends, you should always tie your own bow tie and never wear pre-tied ones.
No. 5, 15—While older gentleman can look excellent in checked caps – Michael Alden is a great example – it looks a little odd on young men in my opinion. Despite being so versatile, contrasting waistcoats are one of the most underestimated clothing items in my mind. Two waistcoats, one in a light tone, the other in a rather dark color are enough to create numerous different outfits with all the coats in your wardrobe. The stick pin in the tie finishes off this outfit adding some elegance.
No. 6—This combination of a polka dot ascot, yellow waistcoat, brown jacket and snap brim, brown and white breeches and white leather bluchers over the shoes looks like a costume to most people nowadays. Just an ascot or just the waistcoat might work very well, but the combination of breeches, bluchers and strong colors is simply too much.
No. 7-8—Colorful pocket square in linen and silk as well as silk belts are a great way to to add color to an otherwise muted summer outfit.
No. 9-12—Other than the plaid tie, I do not really like them. Instead, madras ties in cotton or ties in raw silk, shantung/Dupioni silk or linen or silk knit ties would be my choice instead.
No. 13-14—Key chains are interesting accessories that are absolutely adequate today, just like the safety collar pin, as well as a nice collar pin.
No. 16—Contrasting plaid or Tattersall waistcoats are a great way to individualize your outfit – even today.
No. 17-18—While walking canes or sticks used to be obligatory for an elegant man, most younger men will look rather costumed if they really use one of those just as an accessory. It requires a lot of skill and experience to wear it with style, and even then it looks a little dated if you ask me. However, older gentleman who are in need of a stick or a cane can’t go wrong with one.
With so much inspiration you should now have hardly any problems to come up with a unique summer outfit that suits your style.