The Permanent Press Cycle of Menswear Fashion

In the fashion biz, menswear is particularly cyclical in terms of trend.  There are always the classic silhouettes and patterns that come back time and time again. Guys are creatures of habit–venturing out little by little, but ultimately always returning to what the know and trust. And if you’ve been around a few decades you see it all come full circle–sometimes producing an eerie sense of déjà vu, if you know what I mean.

According to Valet, it’s all about the plaid coat, turtleneck and belted outerwear for Fall 2009.  And to me at least, it feels like some designers like Tommy Hilfiger are injecting a healthy dose of 1970’s sartorial magic.

tommy hilfiger1970s menswear fashion

The bottom on the left definitely has that 70’s slacks feel– clingy at the thigh, no cuff, and the sad muted pattern.  Straight up– slacks is an unsavory word that you should avoid at all costs.  Similar to ointment, it just doesn’t sound or feel right at all. I still hear guys using it today– and I shudder.  It’s just wrong. 


tommy hilfiger1970s menswear fashion

The belted plaid jacket– a key piece from the 70’s reinterpreted for today’s man.  It feels a little better, but the muted neutral plaid is still throwing that vintage thrifty vibe.  Blow dry that hair and you’re there.


tommy hilfiger1970s vintage menswear

It may be a stretch, but I feel like this Tommy Hilfiger look on the left is channeling our guy on the right with the red turtleneck, dark casual jacket and the perfect grey slacks trousers.  Paired together with his friend above, and you have a perfectly modern version of the 70’s Butterick artwork.  I’ll have to pass.


shipley and halmos1970s vintage sweater menswear

Shipley and Halmos conjuring thoughts of 1970’s layered sweater heaven.  Bringin’ sexy back, boyz.


Vintage photos courtesy of found in mom’s basement, a great site the guys at FNB (film noir buff) turned me on to.  Many thanks.

7 thoughts on “The Permanent Press Cycle of Menswear Fashion

  1. Great post. I discovered your blog when I was trying to find out more information about the Captain Mike character in The Curious Case of Benji B (another great post and isn’t Jared Harris a chip off the old block?) and must admit I have been hooked ever since then.
    Keep up the excellent work!

  2. The new designs are as sad and unfortunate as the old ones. A lack of inspiration inspiring more lack of inspiration. I’m not even sure how that’s possible.

  3. Plaid pants is pushing the confidence level of even the hippest of hipsters. The chance of plaid pants or Mr. Rogers cardigans making a comeback is as likley as the comeback of Dodge vans with airbrushed murals and shag rug dashboards. Great fashion re-invents the past it doesnt sew labels into my dead uncles wardrobe. This sad resurection is costume posing as fashion. Tommy, Kramer called and he wants his pants back.

    Great Blog!

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