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Where Did Business Suits Come From?
The Atlantic ^ | July 23, 2012 | Emily Chertoff

Posted on 07/24/2012 10:35:23 AM PDT by C19fan

Good morning, gentlemen. You look lovely today. Is that a peaked lapel I see?

Yes, Casual Friday is four days away. While you carve another hash mark into the wall of your cubicle, wouldn't you like to know the origin of your wool-flannel slave-suit?

This symbol of the American establishment in fact comes to us courtesy of our colonial oppressors! In fact, the suit's prehistory begins in the evolution of court dress in Britain. Until the mid-17th century, sumptuary laws prevented commoners from wearing certain colors, like the royal purple, fine furs, and elaborate trimmings, including velvet and satin. These were reserved for courtiers of various ranks, and sometimes for the royal family alone.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: fashion; suit
The author seemed to forget about how the French Revolution and an English social dandy by the name of Mr. Beau Brummell made pants, or trousers in GB, fashionable and supplanted the wearing of breeches with stockings. One might add it was Mr. Brummell who made sober colors fashionable for men. Before that upper class men would wear all sorts of outrageous colors.
1 posted on 07/24/2012 10:35:32 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: C19fan

Yes, that was so interesting, the culture war between the dandies and the fops.


2 posted on 07/24/2012 10:40:25 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: C19fan

is good to be able to instantly recognize the “suits/”neckties”” w/o knowing them....how else in passing would we know them from wee the sheeple...???

Baretta and his bird would be happy w/this post...

Semper watching!
*****


3 posted on 07/24/2012 10:42:23 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: C19fan

Who ever thought that wearing neck ties was a good idea, should be sentenced to life wearing one.


4 posted on 07/24/2012 10:46:43 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: kabumpo

I am not sure I should be embarrassed or proud I as a hetero male knew more about male fashion than a female Atlantic writer. I am an amateur Victorianist, perhaps one can tell from my moniker, so the story of how male fashion radically changed is interesting. Hee, hee.


5 posted on 07/24/2012 10:47:05 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: C19fan

I was born in a business suit. Spent my entire career wearing them. Protocol required I wear them in the worst places and under the worst conditions imaginable. The day I retire, I’m having a bonfire. Suits, ties, and wingtip shoes. I shall never wear the like again.


6 posted on 07/24/2012 10:47:25 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: PowderMonkey

Understand completely.

I still have a couple. There are church services, weddings, and funerals. Who knows, I may have to look for another job one day. Never go to any interview in anything but a tasteful suit that fits.

Other than that, blue jeans, baby.


7 posted on 07/24/2012 10:55:42 AM PDT by chesley (God's chosen instrument - the trumpet)
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To: chesley
Pants are over-rated.

/johnny

8 posted on 07/24/2012 11:07:21 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: C19fan

I wore a suit and tie for most of my career, up until about 5 years ago.

I still miss it.

Purchasing quality clothing (no synthetics), giving them proper care and having a good tailor and laundry service make all the difference, though. Don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune if you shop around. A good tailor, especially can really make a good suit look great.

I bought a lot of my clothes at outlet stores for often 1/3 of retail.

Biggest thing men overlook, though, is keeping their shoes polished. I never really understood why men neglect that as it is so easy and inexpensive to do. I used to do it while watching TV. You really stand out these days if you learn how to put a good shine on your shoes.


9 posted on 07/24/2012 11:08:18 AM PDT by chrisser (Starve the Monkeys!)
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To: listenhillary

That would be the Swiss soldiers...skirmishers(aka spear throwers) to be exact. The swiss were all mercenaries back then and paid very well. They started the necktie thing as part of their uniform. Then all the rest of the idiots in europe thought it looked so cute they all started copying.


10 posted on 07/24/2012 11:10:57 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: C19fan

I have wondered where the custom got started. But not enough to ever buy a suit and see what it felt like.


11 posted on 07/24/2012 11:12:41 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: C19fan

I think the author is exaggerating a little. The modern american business suit is nothing more than a fancied up set of plain old work clothes typical of the english and irish countryside. Look at some 200-300 year old photos of irish and english farmers and common laborers.


12 posted on 07/24/2012 11:17:38 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: steve86

Do what I did. Just buy a wool irish tweed or scottish tweed sport coat. Wear it with jeans.


13 posted on 07/24/2012 11:20:53 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: C19fan

I agree with you about the very surface nature of the article, and about Beau Brummel and other dandies of the nineteenth century.

But if you guys had any idea how hot we women think you are when you wear a good suit, you’d want to wear them all the time. The more well-dressed you are, the more drool-worthy. Ask the fans of Mad Men. This is a family forum, so I will not elaborate; just trust me, since I hear the squeals in the ladies’ room and you don’t.


14 posted on 07/24/2012 11:31:00 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: ottbmare
I agree. Nothing says, "I respect the occasion *and the companion," like putting the jeans away for once. And no, "switchback" camping pants are not an improvement over jeans, especially if you decide to zip the lower legs off right in the middle of the event and put them in my purse.
15 posted on 07/24/2012 11:37:15 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You have all been given written notice of my mid-life crisis.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Too up-town for me. But because you said it I’ll keep my eyes open at the thrift store.


16 posted on 07/24/2012 11:49:37 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: ottbmare

My last job was business casual, but because of the nature of what I did, for me it was mostly jeans and a polo shirt. However, once in a while I had to go to something after work that called for dressing up, so I’d wear my suit to the office.

Quite a few of my female coworkers took notice on those days....


17 posted on 07/24/2012 11:52:45 AM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: PowderMonkey
I've read that George Reeves, at the end of each season of Superman, would torch his costume in the parking lot of the studio.

Maybe he started torching it towards the end.

18 posted on 07/24/2012 11:54:36 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: ottbmare

But I’m married. Drool doesn’t interest me.


19 posted on 07/24/2012 11:57:43 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: C19fan

“The classic formula for success is: “Dress British, Think Yiddish”


20 posted on 07/24/2012 11:58:19 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: C19fan
I think they started with the Protestant Dutch trade guilds...


21 posted on 07/24/2012 12:30:03 PM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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