Dapper Day is finally here, and while I do like to write a post each time (to help you get dressed), I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of articles that I think can help you get started with vintage or vintage inspired style!
I’m going to admit that I’m a lazy guy. For those of you who keep up with my instagram, you’ll know that I was asked to give a presentation on classic and vintage menswear at the Dapper Day Expo. Justin asked me to create an article that would go along with the presentation, but honestly, most of it was just repurposed content from a lot of previous articles.
So instead of writing a redundant blog post, I put them all here.
Wow, this article is old. While not technically a guide, it was a defining moment of this blog (and my personal style) since most articles after this one were about classic menswear. All it tells you is that a high-rise (the “correct” term for high waisted) is better than a low rise because it elongates your legs, doesn’t give you a “shirt triangle”, and is simply a vintage/tailoring detail that’s hard to get in regular clothing.
This article was the first ever guide Spencer and I wrote in anticipation for Dapper Day. It’s extremely general but it goes into the basics of suit fit and basic styling of the 1920s-1960s. Its pretty helpful if you know which era you’d like to model your style after! Obviously the 1920s-1940s are the biggest pieces, but that may be due to author bias.
StyleForum asked me to write this article for their journal. To make it more concise, I focused directly on the suit and jacket silhouette of every era. I think it’s particularly useful since most people just lump all these looks under “vintage” as an umbrella term. In actuality, a lot of stuff changed like the amount of shoulder padding, the length of jackets, and even the button placement! It’s a good read to supplement the general guide.
I call this “the guide to dress like Ethan”. While it hasn’t been updated in a little while with new outfits, I think it does a great job in detailing how exactly to get a Golden Era look with modern (or less vintage) pieces. Basically, it boils down to high rise trousers, wide lapels, and striped shirts + patterned ties…
Yeah, I decided to write an entire article on striped shirts + patterned ties. It’s something so subtle that most people forget about it! I certainly don’t wear true vintage (1920s-1940s) everyday, but I always aim for the look and this is one way to do it. If you do it with a classically designed/tailored suit, you’ll definitely get the vibe down. I recommend it as a starting point for guys who are unsure if they want to commit to buying a vintage suit.
Obviously the key to pulling off the striped shirt + patterned tie look is to have the right tie. Classic stuff like stripes (or literally anything from Drake’s) will work, but there’s something special about vintage ties that you just don’t get anymore. The prints and patterns are slightly odd (in a good way), the silk is better, and the shape is just different. The best part is that these ties are $20-40. Extremely affordable.
Lastly, we have thrifted ties. While it is possible to thrift ties from the 30-40s, you’ll mainly find ties from the 70s-90s at your local goodwill. Now, this isn’t a bad thing as you can still obtain some great ties to add to your collection. Again, these “recent” ties can’t compare to the construction and patterns/prints of vintage ties, but these will do you good. They especially help if you’re trying to get into the “contemporary classic menswear” look of The Armoury, Drake’s, and B&Tailor.
I hope this helps you guys out, as it puts the most frequently referenced articles all in one place for easy reading. As I finish writing this, I realize that this doesn’t specifically apply to Dapper Day. It can actually help anyone that wants to learn more about classic and vintage menswear! Pretty convenient, eh?
If you’re looking for sources of visual inspiration, take a look at two three tumblrs. I use them all the time when finding images for reference. Some of the posts have dates, so it will assist you with determining which era you like most.
Always a pleasure,