Last week, we enjoyed four fall outfits from Apparel Arts 1934. Today, we want to present four different, yet equally stylish ensembles.
Camel Hair Overcoat & Colorful Socks
For a modern gentleman, the clothing item that surely stands out the most on these to men is the knicker breeches. As something that is almost completely extinct, the knicker breeches on the left are made of Shetland with a white overplaid. You can hardly see them in the illustration because of the bottle green over-the-calf socks. He also wears wore brown brogue shoes with canvas gaiters, another nearly-extinct piece that looks dated and is very difficult to find nowadays. Most men today have an array of light blue, white and maybe pink shirts, but back then, men chose from a much wider array of colors, including pastel colors. To complete the outfit, he wears a short camel hair warm that looks similar to a British Warm.
Here we can see a tan oxford shirt which is paired with a green bow tie and yellow buckskin gloves. The green rough felt Tyrolean hat goes well with the socks and bow tie, declaring itself clearly as a casual English country style. Nevertheless, fashionable sportsmen in the US caught up on that fashion at the time and wore outfits in a similar manner.
Coat & Breeches
The pipe-smoking gentleman on the right wears a three-button notched lapel checked tweed suit with horizontal slash pockets above the waistline – although different, something like this is basically unseen today. The knicker breeches have box-cloth cuffs with four buttons, and personally, I do not like the combination with the navy blue golf hose with pale blue tops very much – a rust red or burnt orange would probably have been better. On his feet, he wears dark brown brogues with overlapping tongues, details that you may still see on golf shoes today. Since this chap decided to go with blue, he chose a complementary blue sweater and polka dot blue foulard. Even his tweed cap has a navy plaid. Most men would not golf like this anymore, but some may hike or hunt in that outfit.
Windowpane Plaid Overcoat
In the next picture, just take a look at this marvelous overcoat! I don’t think I have ever seen a topcoat in a light color with a windowpane overplaid, but I think it can be worn for all kinds of informal occasions. You certainly won’t go unnoticed in it! This 8×3 double breasted coat was made of Harris tweed and features two patch pockets, cuffs and lapels with quite a bit of belly. Also, note the flapped chest pocket. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. could have very well have worn an overcoat like this back in the day.
The overcoat is combined with a grey small-checked Harris tweed suit, brown buckskin derby shoes, a blue flannel shirt, a navy and yellow striped repp tie and a brown snap brim hat. The coat shows the new trend in overcoats and topcoats for country wear.
Green Grey Tweed Suit
The gentleman on the right wears a three piece, single breasted Irish tweed suit in grey-green with a rust overplaid – a very unusual color combination. The sleeves only feature two cuff buttons because it is a country suit, and generally the fewer cuff buttons you see, the less formal it is, with four being the most formal option. Also, the material of the buttons is an important indicator of formality. Here, the leather buttons clearly underline the country purpose of the garment. Note the patch pocket with flaps and how they were tailored to leave room for expansion. Country suits are practical, and therefore, things like pocket capacity have to be considered. Despite all this practicality, there should always be room for a purely decorative pocket square! With his high waisted pleated trousers, you cannot see his shirt although he wears the lowest button of his vest unbuttoned. The brown brogue shoes match the brown knit tie, which contrasts nicely with a grey oxford shirt with rounded club collar. A black and white shepherd check cap completes the look. Except for the pocket square, this is a muted combination that is full of details and guaranteed to be unique.
Altogether, there were so many more choices back then in terms of cloth, details and cut. Sometimes, Ralph Lauren offers these kind of styles, but otherwise you simply must go bespoke.