Shows like Mad Men have given high quality fashion designers a big boost, and we can see characters strutting around the screens like Hollywood’s leading men of a few generations ago. Just because the design is older doesn’t mean that it’s not as impressive today as it was in the past and, if you are looking for the classic Hollywood look, you’ll find that there are a number of tips to keep in mind.
One important key to remember is that the famous suits of classic Hollywood were all tailored to the wearer.This does not mean that you should despair. It is true that the really impressive suits in the world are still made by high quality tailors and custom-fit to the person who would be wearing them rather than picked off of a rack. Even if you are stuck with a high street budget, you can still do your look some good by getting your clothing altered to custom fit your size. A great idea when buying suits from chain stores is to choose a suit that fits you through your longest dimension. For example, if you have long arms, choose a suit jacket that fits you through the arms even if it is baggy on you in other areas. Then take the item to the alteration shop and have it altered to fit. This can gives you a very well-fitting suit without the high price tag.
Don’t forget to invest in men's shoes as well as in men’s clothing.Clothes make the man, but shoes absolutely help and, for some people, are the most important item in any ensemble. For men, no footwear is smarter and more on trend than a shiny black wingtip. The key to the last statement was the word “shiny” - take the time to look after your shoes. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to shine your shoes, and this preserves their looks over the long term. You may find that you are a little put off by the high price of good leather shoes, but like a good suit, a good pair of shoes will be with you for years. Choose shoes of a high quality and then look after them. Don’t play football in them, don’t paint your house in them but, instead, treat your shoes with the respect they deserve.
A final point of not is that men from the classic Hollywood era weren’t afraid to accessorize.There was a trend in the last twenty years for masculinity to be associated with a lack of frills. We are currently learning, however, that quality accessories, when worn with subtlety, can enhance most outfits. More and more men are wearing jewellery, especially when it comes to rings. If you are not interested in a lot of sparkle, consider something like a wide gold or silver ring with no gems and only a flat plate, perhaps one with a stripe of onyx embedded across it,; not something overly garish or showy. Similarly, look into items like monogrammed handkerchiefs, personalized tie tacks or elegant collar bars to give your suit a unique and individual look.
When you are tired of looking like everyone else, and if your suits have never fit you the way that you thought they should, it is time to look into solutions. Classic Hollywood was a time for “snob appeal,” when good fit and a quiet flashiness was in vogue, so choose accordingly!
Kieron Casey is a fashion writer who thinks men’s style peaked with Hollywood glamour. He currently favours Doc Marten’s wingtips when it comes to a choice of mens shoe.