Today, we would like to present a beautiful fashion illustration from Apparel Arts 1935 that shows the influence of typical country clothing on town wear. We will also analyze these silhouettes and learn why 8 inch long side vents became so popular that year.
Fall Fashion – Apparel Arts Article
“THE fall season is the signal for the back-to-civilization movement, as far as the clothing industry is concerned. Sun-worshippers and outdoor addicts are by necessity forced back to the humdrum existence from which spring and summer rescued them. Into the discard go the light flannels, bright beach attire and all the rest of the informal clothing that make up the average summer wardrobe.
Staple merchandise in darker hues — blues, greys, browns — now take their place in the spotlight, if not the sunlight. Last year saw the break for the first time with the tradition of hard worsted materials for fall wear; the demand made by the consumer for a quite different type of clothing was tremendous. Retailers and manufacturers alike were astounded by the preference shown for sports and country type clothing. A whole new set of fashions and ideas were born many of which remained to attain full growth. In the wake of this reaction followed changes in other merchandise, such as shirts, hats and neckwear.
After a year of experimentation, definite types of clothing have emerged for specific purposes, so that today we find country clothes and town clothing being worn for the respective occasions for which they were designed. However, the feeling of nonchalance that prevails in country clothing has in some instances been transferred to town clothing with the result that, particularly in accessories, there is a more informal note.
The following is a summary of observations made at important fashion centers throughout the world, revealing new and interesting items for the fall season.”
Suits For Fall
“BOTH single and double breasted suits have always been fashionable, but young men who are style conscious have, during the past year, shown a definite preference for the double breasted jacket.”
The Double Breasted Suit Buttoned On the Lowest Button
“The model which increases daily in popularity with well-dressed men is the jacket that has the long roll lapel. This jacket was introduced in this country last year through Esquire and Apparel Arts. The main feature of the jacket, of course, is the long roll lapel, one side of the jacket buttoning on the bottom button. This necessitates the placing of the buttons higher than on the ordinary double breasted jacket. The middle buttons, which are usually at the waistline, are slightly above it. The pockets are in line with the lower buttons. These pockets, by the way; carry no flaps. The shoulders are broad but natural and the jacket is loose fitting but has a suggested waistline. The back of the jacket carries two eight-inch side vents. With this model, single or side vents are necessary because when a person is seated wearing it, there is a great strain on the lower button. Without a vent, the buttons would easily come off.”
In our picture, the gentleman in the middle is wearing a double breasted dark blue worsted suit with soft tan madras shirt and a white starched widespread collar – which is sometimes referred to as a Winchester Shirt. He combines it with a black Spitalsfield tie, a classic white pearl stickpin and tops it off with a midnight blue Homburg hat and black plain toe calf shoes.
Side Vents On A Jacket –A New Idea Back Then
“There is a great deal of emphasis being put on side vents for both single and double breasted models for town as well as country wear. This fashion which first received favor in London last year, is rapidly being taken up by well-dressed men in this country and all retail establishments which have already shown this type of garment with side vents, have had great success with it. It is particularly suited to the double breasted jacket with the lapel rolled to the bottom button as well as single breasted suits of cheviots, Shetlands and other tweeds.”
Peaked Lapel Single Breasted Suit
“The peak lapel, single breasted model does not carry any vents. There is a fullness at the chest as well as at the shoulder blades, but it is not so much as to give an over exaggerated appearance. This model is ideally made up in flannels, cheviots and other worsted materials. Nevertheless, many of them are made in the usual hard worsted fabrics.
With this suit, the six button, single breasted waistcoat is worn. The points at the bottom are cut sharply and the bottom button is always left open. The trousers are cut full with two pleats on each side of the waist. They are approximately twenty-three inches wide at the knee and nineteen inches wide at the cuffs.”
I always adore old articles like this for their precise measurements and wealth of specific information. Compared to the marketing texts in current brochures, which use many words but don’t seem to say anything substantive, these almost seem like passages of a book.
“Some years ago there was a vogue for the single breasted, peak lapel jacket. This model has become practically extinct in this country, but in England it is seen on mostly all single breasted suits and is referred to as a single breasted jacket with a double breasted lapel. However, with the constant publicity that well-dressed Englishmen are receiving today, it is likely that this jacket will once more become popular with various groups of well-dressed men in this country. It is a model that is ideally suited for more formal town occasions, because the double breasted lapel on the single breasted jacket helps to give a much dressier appearance to one’s lounge suit.
This jacket has very similar lines to that of the notched lapel single breasted jacket described above. The lapels are short and stubby and roll very high. The shoulders are natural and there is a fullness at the chest and shoulder blades. It has a definite waistline and the jacket is cut rather long. However, this model has no vents and no flaps on the pockets. It is particularly suited to hard worsted materials. The waistcoat is the same as for the other suits mentioned, but well-dressed men in England prefer this model jacket with a double breasted waistcoat of the same material. The double breasted waistcoat has been seen on many well-dressed men in this country, but has never reached mass popularity.”
The chap sitting on the right smoking his cigar wears a three-button peaked lapel dark grey worsted suit with a rare double breasted 6×3 waistcoat, a heliotrope – purple shirt with a matching starched collar, a black foulard tie with large white polka dots, and dark lavender hose with black clocks and plain black shoes.
The Single Breasted Suit With Notched Lapels
“The single breasted jacket for town wear has lines similar to those of the double breasted jacket. The three-button model is very important— particularly with a notched lapel. The newer jacket favors a very high roll so that the top button, although not buttoned, is easily visible. The collar is as wide, and in some cases wider, than the lapels. This jacket has regular pockets with flaps and very often a ticket pocket with a small flap. The back of the jacket carries center or side vents. The waistcoat and trousers are the same as those worn with the double breasted suit.”
The man on the left pulls off a stunning three-button notched lapel brown Glen Urquhart Saxony suit in the exact configuration described above. For his shirt, he chose tan stripes on white with a classic tab collar and a green and brown regimental striped tie, brown silk foulard pocket square, black bowler/derby hat and black wing tip shoes. The accessory of choice is, of course, the umbrella.
This ensemble is very brown heavy with black accents on top and bottom, but nevertheless, it is a wonderful city outfit that relies heavily on brown tones without looking odd, while the bower and the black shoes add a touch city formality.
Worsted Cloth With A Rough Finish For The Season
“Hard worsteds, which were worn in town last year, are definitely in and the three models described here are types of clothing which will be seen in town again this coming fall. These will be worn in suitings of hard finished worsteds, cheviots and Saxonys. The hard finished worsteds will be featured in sharkskin and pin dot patterns with self and colored overplaids.
Cheviots will run more to grey and brown grounds with fine patterns. These will carry colored silk diagonals in the form of stripings and a single fabric carrying two or three alternating stripes. These same fabrics will also carry colorful over-plaids and many cheviots will be seen in brown and grey Glen Urquharts with colorful oversquares. The Saxony type of fabrics will run more towards large Glen Urquharts in greys and tans. Gun club checks in three colors will also be very popular. These more patterned suits will, of course, be worn in the three button single breasted notched lapel model. Brown will be the most important color in the softer fabrics for more informal town wear. Worsted flannels in chalk stripes in blue and black and dark grey grounds will still be popular. These will be seen mostly in double breasted models”
The blonde gentleman wears a fly front notched lapel raglan sleeve covert coat. Since this coat does not have an outer chest pocket, he cannot wear a pocket square, and so he decided to add a boutonniere to his overcoat for a finishing touch. His double breasted oxford grey cheviot jacket is paired with black and white shepherd’s check sponge bag trousers, a blue pleated shirt with a white starched round club collar, a checked Spitalsfield tie, yellow chamois gloves, a derby hat and black blucher town shoes. The way he carries his umbrella was very common and looks very elegant, in my opinion. Sadly, hardly anyone knows how to accessorize with an umbrella in that manner at present.
The Spencer Jacket
Apart from the main characters in the picture, the server in the back deserves to be mentioned as well. He wears a white spencer jacket with four gold buttons on each side, peaked lapels and black collar and cuffs, probably made of velvet. His white single breasted waistcoat also has gold buttons and he wears a black bow tie with his white shirt. He pairs it with traditional tuxedo trousers in black, which have a black ribbon along the sides.
Spencer jackets are not very popular anymore, although you may see them on staff at the opera house and aboard a cruise ship or very exquisite restaurants with old world charm.
I hope you enjoyed the mix of an original 30’s Apparel Arts article with my comments and hopefully you will feel more comfortable wearing more exciting plaid jackets and suits in the city and not always the plain dark ones!