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First Impression Counts: Styling Guide for Men

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

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Elegant Men’s Dress Shirts Now at the Click of Your Mouse

You may be afraid of color in your business wardrobe, but it’s the perfect way to update your suits. Simply add bold striped mens dress shirts to your wardrobe, accent them with bold patterned ties, contrasting pocket squares, and bold cufflinks. Voila! You have an entirely new look. Your suits will look entirely different and updated. It’s the subtle things that can update your wardrobe so that you can make a good appearance. This is so important in your every day business life and, particularly if you’re meeting new people or are going on an interview for a new job.

men's fashion
How times and men’s fashion have changed! Men’s fashion remained luxurious during the 18th century, featuring velvets, satins, and silks. Fabrics were embroidered in silk or trimmed in lace. Men of the ruling class vied with one another in the costliness and ornamentation of their wardrobes. A man’s garb served as an indication of his status and his wealth. In the late 1700s this ostentatious manner of dress slowly lost favor, a pattern that continued through the 1800s. European and American menswear became more sober and uniform. Fashion historians have called this change the great masculine renunciation. According to an article in Microsoft’s Encarta 2005, “The reasons for this change are complicated, but two primary causes can be identified.”

“The gradual democratization of Western society was the first cause of change. The French and American revolutions helped promote the idea that all men were equal, and their clothing changed to reflect this equality. Prior to these revolutions, the clothing worn by aristocrats differed dramatically from that worn by commoners, and sumptuary laws regulated clothing and other ornamentation to maintain the distinction. Aristocrats tended to monopolize the most colorful and luxurious clothing. Commoners, no matter how rich, wore more sober clothing. During the French Revolution, sumptuary laws were abolished in France. After the French Revolution, clothing in France served as a powerful symbol of equality rather than as a sign of status. Another reason for the change in men’s fashions was the growing economic and cultural influence of England. By the 1770s, even before the French and American revolutions, plainer, simpler men’s clothing was perceived in England as more democratic and more natural.” Of course, mens dress shirts still did not look like today’s styles so readily available online at such sites as the DeSantis Collection. Just think how easy you have it today!

Man wearing suit and tie
From the 19th century on, fashions in men’s clothing changed more slowly and to a smaller degree than women’s fashions. One reason for this difference is that a man’s wardrobe has been based on the suit. A suit constituted a kind of uniform that varied only in its details. By the late 18th century, fashionable suits were increasingly made of dark wool. They were unadorned but beautifully tailored. During the 19th century a knee-length jacket called a frock coat gradually replaced the short jacket with tails at the back, called a tailcoat, which had been worn earlier. The tailcoat became reserved for formal occasions.

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Here’s a bit of history about mens ties: As the suit grew plainer, the role of the cravat (tie) increased. By the mid-19th century the cravat had so expanded in size that it covered the entire shirt above the vest. This type of cravat was called an ascot. The bow tie and the four-in-hand necktie began to take shape in the 1880s and 1890s. The term four-in-hand originally referred to a vehicle having one driver for a team of four horses; the knot in the necktie resembled the knot that the driver used to tie the reins together.

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Men's suit and ties
Although the suit remained the basic garment of the male wardrobe, there has been recently a trend toward more casual dressing. This trend even found its way into the workplace with the introduction of casual Fridays by many companies. That trend seems to be declining somewhat and regular business apparel seems on the upswing, including the wearing of ties. Th ~The DeSantis collection has a special program that enables you to get custom shirts by going online and designing (quite literally) custom shirts to your exact specification. You can choose the type of collar, the cuffs and even the pockets you want. This is a unique program for executive attire. They are one of many online merchants that offer exceptional fabrics and a personalized fit; all easily ordered in just minutes. If you thought that having custom shirts was limited to the very wealthy, think again. You’ll truly be amazed at what’s available online and at extremely reasonable prices.


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