A History of Men’s Fashion (1993)

By: Farid Chenoune

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A History of Men’s Fashion is divided into four parts that follow the sartorial evolution of the male wardrobe from the era of Beau Brummell, which created the model of the gentlemen and the dandy, to the “anti-fashion” trends of the early 1990s. Part One (1760-1850) traces the era of tails and the frock coat, the emergence of the pantaloon and the influence of Anglomania on European fashion. Men’s fashion in Europe’s fin de siecle climate, and the impact of ready-made garments are discussed in Part Two (1850-1914). Part Three (1914-1940) introduces the aesthetic of the sweater and the variations on the suit and vest as part of the post-World War I moral liberation and economic euphoria, and traces changes all the way through to the New Deal and the new American elegance. The post-World War II fashion revolution is described in Part Four (1940-1990) from zoot suits, spurred by the black American jazz scene, to London’s Mod fashion of the 60s, Pierre Cardin and the new French style, the emergence of Italian chic, and the hippie and punk styles of the 70s.

The book is completed by a perceptive discussion of contemporary designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Comme des Garcons, and Yohji Yamamoto. Farid Chenoune’s lively and accessible text is filled with amusing anecdotes about male dress and grooming. He vividly places style transformations in the context of contemporary fashion criticism, history, social etiquette, manufacturing and marketing revolutions, and highlights public and private responses to fashion trends. By analyzing fashion’s symbolic, social, and economic frames of reference he lays before us the entire fabric of the intellectual, spiritual, and material forces of the modern era. The copious illustrations for this book, many reproduced here for the first time, are drawn from fashion designs, paintings, drawings, cartoons, tailor’s model books, magazines, and rare, impromptu photographs of masculine style in city streets. A History of Men’s Fashion will be an essential reference for fashion designers and students, and should have a profound impact on fashion history for years to come.

More Information


Publisher: Paris : Flammarion, ©1993.
ISBN: 2080135368 9782080135360
OCLC Number: 29230629
Description: 336 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm

Table of contents

Table of contents

I. Dress coat & frock coat 1760-1850. The Brummell era: French Revolution and Anglomania ; The century that wore pants ; London dandy, Paris fop ; The tailor’s art: cutting, measuring, accounting ; Romantics in age-old clothes ; Male bonding: boulevard and Jockey-Club. —
II. Overcoat & morning coat 1850-1914. Overcoats and ready-made fictions ; Second English swells and Victorian gentlemen ; Fin de siècle I: Stovepipes and iron collars ; Fin de siècle II: High-life elegance during la Belle Epoque ; Fin de siècle III: Edwardian sportiness, comfort, style ; 1900 street apparel. —
III. Lounge suit & business suit 1914-1940. The avant-garde wardrobe ; Cadence and decadence in the Roaring Twenties ; Oxford bags, plus-fours, tweeds and flannels ; Letters from London ; Shoulders in the thirties: the birth of the classic look ; A new deal: American stylishness ; Hoods and good lookers: underworld fashion. —
IV. Pin stripes & black leather 1940-1990. Zazous and zoot suits: funny fashions for a phony war ; A Marshall Plan for Saint-Germain-des-Prés ; Heavyweights and featherweights in the 1950s ; Teddy boys, leather boys: from frock coat to jeans ; Tempo de Roma: Europe, Italian-style ; Pop fashion on Carnaby Street ; French-style mods, 1961-1968: the “Minets” ; The Cardin line and new French style ; Anti-fashion, revival rage ; Kings of sportswear, princes of unstructured tailoring ; Tribes and fashion victims ; Fashion winners, fashion losers.

About the author

About the author

Fashion history / Lecturer

Farid Chenoune is an « agrégé » in modern literature and teaches the history and culture of fashion at the IFM. He has written a number of books including a history of men’s fashion since the French revolution entitled Des modes et des hommes(Flammarion) and a history of lingerie Les dessous de la féminité (Assouline). He was once editor of the magazine Mixt(e) and is a contributor to Vogue. In addition he produced the catalogue for the exhibition Le Cas du sacHistoires d’une utopie portative(Le Passage).

Student reviews

1 review for A History of Men’s Fashion (1993)

  1. Natalie Fritz

    A History of Men’s Fashion by Farid Chenuone is a great resource for looking at how men’s dress has evolved over time. Looking at this book as a womenswear designer, I can pull inspiration and reference for designing garments for women in society today. In fact, one of the current macro-trends is tailored garments in women’s wear. I can use this book to gather information and images from any menswear look such as the zoot to a tailored double-breasted jacket, to create a collection in trend.

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