Manliness, Modernity, and the Shaping of Male Clothing

Posted on October 18, 2012

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“Physique of the ancient Greek athlete provided a fitting template for the production of a rationalized modern wardrobe.”

“Later pattern cutting systems abandoned a striving for the ideal in preference for the closer study of anatomy and geometry.”

“There are men, and plenty of them, who change their clothes twice as often.”

Most people when thinking of fashion automatically relate it to women and how much women are involved in the industry. Including, wardrobe changes, career paths, and the media. It is common to see in tabloids an article with female celebrities and the 7 wardrobe changes throughout the day at different events and venues from morning to-night.  However, when thinking of men’s dress it is difficult for me to see much variety and differences in our current culture. Although people add personal style and touches to their wardrobe men clothing is easily classified as pants, shorts, shirts, and more formal wear. At events such as, the Oscars all the men look the same wearing the same colors with the same styles. The main questioned they are asked during a red carpet interview is “what are you wearing?” and a reply of “Calvin Klein” or  “Gucci”. Prior to this article, I never realized the amount of work in tailoring and how much more men were consumed with fashion in history including the amount of times they changed in a day. Each different outfit had a purpose and they dressed more for the activity rather than the occasion. Such as, horse-riding, tennis playing, or smoking wear.

The idea of the ideal clothing would have to compliment the ideal body. The reading relates the body template to that of a Greek athlete. Not only was their physique important the most important is the clothing. Men were looked down upon if their clothes were not properly tailored. Although they had a lot of ready-made clothing they were still looked at as “cheap” because they were not based on their specific measurements. Men during this time used dress to show their masculinity and dress their best at all occasions where men currently use it to see what is in style.

http://dl.lib.brown.edu/mjp/render.php?view=mjp_object&id=mjp.2005.01.030

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Posted in: ART 302