The Great Masculine Revival

Benjamin Wild

At the end of the eighteenth century ‘there occurred one of the most remarkable events in the whole history of dress, one under the influence of which we are still living, one, moreover, which has attracted far less attention than it deserves: men gave up their right to all the brighter, gayer, more elaborate, and more varied forms of ornamentation, leaving these entirely to the use of women, and thereby making their own tailoring the most austere and ascetic of the arts. Sartorially, this event has surely the right to be considered as ‘The Great Masculine Renunciation.’ Man abandoned his claim to be considered beautiful. He henceforth aimed at being only useful.[i]

To Be, Or Not To Be Trendy

For the past seventy years this short paragraph in John Flügel’s Psychology of Clothes has been the orthodox view on men’s dress. So ingrained is the idea…

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