The Fashion Conscious Male – A Modern Idea
This phrase that has been coined by the media to describe men who wear designer clothing and take take an interest in their appearance and it is being seen as a modern day phenomena but you don’t have to go back very far in the history of male fashion to see that a lot of men have been taking pride in their appearance since the dawn of time. The male appearance has always been of great importance throughout the course of history, styles have spanned from aggressively masculine to dandyish. Men have over time embraced wearing wigs and lipstick and have worn garters to keep their socks up so is the fashion conscious male really a modern day phenomena?
Men’s designer clothing over the last 100 years or so has focused on the shape of the suit only changing dramatically from the 1960’s and 1970’s onwards into the more relaxed and close fitting styles that we associate with modern men’s apparel. But if we delve further into history it becomes clear that men have displayed the same vanity as women in their appearance, wearing heavily embroidered cloaks and brightly coloured stockings can hardly be described as modest.
A glance at the portraits of kings such as Henry VIII through to photographs of Oscar Wilde in his dapper suit clearly show that men have been interested in their appearance and the notion that male vanity is a contemporary development becomes laughable. In fact Wilde’s only full length novel The Picture of Dorian Grey explores the notion of retaining the ideal appearance at any cost.
Popular modern designer companies often move from being sportswear suppliers to clothing suppliers like Lyle and Scott who first came to the forefront of men’s fashion for their well made golf apparel and gained prominence with the televised coverage of the sport in the 1960’s. After a small amount of re-branding the company really took off with the younger generation of men treating them simply as a fashion house rather than a sports shop. Other designers have followed suit creating modern and innovative men’s fashion for the 21st century man.