During this time, the sacque suit, which had been popular since the mid 1800's, constituted appropriate "day" dress for gentlemen. (Edwardian etiquette commanded successive changes of clothing for gentlemen during the day.) With the suits, colored shirts of putty, peach, blue-gray and cedar were worn. Shaped silk ties in small geometric patterns or diagonal stripes were secured with tie pins. Black bowler hats completed the ensemble.
The tail coat was considered appropriate formal evening wear, accompanied by a top hat. Starched white shirts with pleated yokes were expected with the tail coat, although bow ties and shirts with white wing collars were also seen. Shirts are white, with silver gray, black, or white ties. High hats, if worn, are place at a rakish angle. Spats are linen or canvas in white, biscuit, or gray. Accessories consist of chesterfield coats with mufflers knotted at the neck, and crooked-handle or straight-shaft malacca canes. Tuxedos were increasing in popularity but were not yet completely acceptable.
Hair was often cropped short at the ears with waves.
Black patent-leather shoes were popular during this era and often appeared with formal evening wear. Casual Summer clothing demanded two-tone shoes (called spectators) in white and tan, or white and black. Fringed tongues on Oxfords and brogues were seen frequently. Lace-up style shoes were most in demand.
In 1925 the era of the baggy pants dawned. This fashion would influence mens wear for three decades. Oxford bags were first worn by Oxford undergraduates, eager to circumvent the University's prohibition on knickers. The style originated when knickers were banned in the classroom. As the bags measured anywhere from twenty-two inches to forty inches around the bottoms, they could easily be slipped on over the forbidden knickers. John Wanamaker introduced Oxford bags to the American public in the spring of 1925.
Jazz clothing passed quickly in and out of fashion during the twenties. These tightly-fitting suits were considered an expression of passion for jazz music. Jackets were long and tight-waisted with long back vents. The buttons were placed close together whether the jackets were double or single breasted. Trousers were tight and stove-pipe skinny.
While Paris was unmistakably the world seat of women's fashion, for men, it was London. Tailors in France were not quick to admit the fact, however, all men's fashion magazines featured styles and trends from London. During the decade of the twenties, students at Oxford and Cambridge violated - for the first time ever - the Edwardian practice of different types of dress for different times of the day. The students wore flannel trousers and soft collars all day. When the English empire stood intact, it was easy for London to dictate men's fashion.
The crash of the American stock market on October 24, 1929, marked a change in the worldwide economic situation that had a drastic effect on men's clothing.