The Working Man’s Wardrobe: 1960’s-2014 [PART II]

Hello there! Glad to see you’re back for the latest- PART DEUX -edition of the working man’s wardrobe… because Don Draper and Michael Scott have so much fashion to talk about. The first part of our series covered all the fashionable styles men donned in the early 1900’s. (If you missed it, you can follow up here.) It’s time to change things up with a modern day twist. The second installation in our 2-part series will cover the latter half of the 1960’s moving up to present day. Ready? Here we go!


There wasn’t much dramatic change in professional men’s fashion between the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Post-1964, however, reeled in a bunch of noticeable amendments. Pants became much tighter (the fit around the thigh was not as relaxed as most men were accustomed to), the pea coat took off and wearing scarves around the neck became commonplace. As the Beatles set the standard for what’s cool & hip, basically anything outta London with shaggy hair was good to go. “Also, men’s pants became flared at the bottom almost like women’s pants,” retrowaste describes, “It’s quite clear that at that time, women’s clothes were becoming more masculine while men’s clothes were becoming more effeminate.”



The mid-1960’s was the harbinger to men’s pants getting tighter and tighter and tighter AND more flared! Clothing was largely manufactured with materials like polyester, terry cloth and velour. Two new suits took off: the leisure suit (popularized via John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”) &, weirdly, the track suit. Collars became floppier & looser, while bright patterns drenched the working man’s wardrobe as well. 



In the 80’s, blocky, art deco shapes took over the fashion scene (and on weekends, dressing like a tennis player was the cool thing to do). The rise of television culture made trend-setting statements take off faster than ever before. Big breasted suits with broad shoulders were all the rage of the manliest of men.



“Business causal” enters the lexicon. Hip hop trends & culture began to seep into the fashion spheres, making baggier pants & suits more acceptable in professional spaces. Longer, mushroom-esque hair styles + middle parts sweep the scene.



The rise of start-ups and laid back employee culture makes casual Friday so acceptable that it’s been ingratiated into professional men’s attire. We’re in an era celebrating sartorial individuality. Borrowing trends from previous decades, like wingtip oxford shoes and three piece suits, is perceived as bold, preppy and stylin’ (thanks, hipsters).  Today, a professional man’s wardrobe is largely determined by where he works. A company that promotes new iPhone apps might anticipate their employees to dress in a laid back manner, but an older corporation might appreciate the old tradition of suit and tie.


Well, we’ve certainly come a looooonnnng way. If you liked this post, remember to check out [PART I]. Have a Happy Wednesday, everyone!