1950s: From 1950s and later, men’s attire were scaled back and much more conservative. Pants, jackets and ties slimmed and lapels became smaller. The gray flannel suit was a staple of menswear in the 50s. Dark brown, navy blue and charcoal were popular colors for businessman’s suits. A hat, pocket square, tie clip and cuff links were must haves in any men’s wardbrobe at the time (along with cigarettes).
How to make it work: 50s fashion is not much different than today’s men’s suits. A slim fit suit and a hat is chic and your fiance can wear them again. A pocket square is a nice alternative to the boutonniere.
(left, J.Crew; Don Draper in Mad Men)
1960s: Men’s suits finally became more fitting. Tailored jackets and narrow lapels worn with narrow collared shirts and skinny ties became popular thanks to Italian designers’ influence. Men’s fashion palettes expanded, which was not surprising, considering that clothing choices for men during the 1950s could hardly have become more conservative. The result is sleek and modern suits that we can see on tv series Mad Men. Popular shoes for men at the time were winkle pickers, an exaggerated pointy toe shoe.
How to make it work: slim fit suit and a skinny tie. The whiskey in one hand and cigarette on the other are optional.
(Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven and Mick Jagger on his wedding day)
1970s: “Menâ€™s fashion between the anything goes and designer groups may be a little less-defined. However, it is evident that men wore either casual or dress clothing of distinct styles. One of the most popular formal wear outfits for a man during this time was the white suit. One of the prime examples of the white suit is seen worn by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. It is a full suit with a vest and black collar underneath the vest that appears in one photo to either to come from a black shirt worn under the vest, or to be a collar attached as part of the vest”. (source)
How to make it work: skip the tie and go for a retro collar shirt and suit. The guys at Men Style talk about when is acceptable to a man to wear a shirt collar outside his suit lapel here.