The Golden 20s sent out many blossoms in terms of clothing style. This is especially true for the USA, where the twenties were a little wilder due to prohibition and are therefore known as Roaring Twenties. Not only gentlemen should benefit from this overview. Since Marlene Dietrich, we know that this style of dress can also suit ladies perfectly.

Click on the pictures to get to the individual articles!

Hourglass and symmetry

If you look at men’s fashion of the 20s, you will notice a small break. At the beginning of this decade the trousers were cut slim and the whole silhouette resulted in an hourglass figure. I.e. hips and shoulders were equally narrow and the waist of the jacket corresponded to the natural waist. A wonderful symmetry. The buttons of the jacket were set high enough for this.

Dunkelbrauner Dreiteiler aus Hahnentritt-Tweed. Dazu Ballonmütze und Gehstock.
Slim flannel three piece suit from SuitSupply*


In the late twenties the shoulders became wider and the waist of the jacket moved down. The trousers also became wider. This trend culminated in the very wide trousers of the 30s and 40s.

Dunkelblauer Nadelstreifen-Anzug mit Boutonniere, Einstecktuch und Fedora (Hut)
Dark blue pinstriped suit with strong shoulder padding of Hockerty*


Apart from the suit trousers, which by the way usually had a cuff, breeches and knickerbockers were very popular. Not only for sporting activities, but also in everyday life, this variation offered a lot of freedom of leg movement. Furthermore, all trousers had one thing in common: they sat on the natural waist. What is currently considered a high waist and is again very popular with women was also common practice with men in the twenties. High waisted trousers have the advantage that they visually lengthen the legs.

Grandadshirt, Schiebermütze, Hosenträger, Knickerbocker
Sporty outfit including Knickerbockers


By the way, if you find my site helpful, I would be glad about support:

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

Pure formality

Although the suit stands for a certain formality nowadays, it was much more part of everyday life back then. As a distinction to evening dress, lighter suits thus shaped the cityscape. At least as formative is the consistent use of hats. While felt hats were preferred in winter, the Straw Hat Day on 15 May always heralded the straw hat season. The 15th of September is again considered as Felt Hat Day.

Hahnentritt-Dreiteiler mit runder Nickel-Sonnenbrille, Strickkrawatte und Kreissäge
A sisal boater and a three piece suit from SuitSupply*

For evening events, tuxedos and dinner suits as part of black tie attire replaced the more formal tailcoat as part of white tie attire. Nowadays white tie is only demanded for events such as official receptions.

Smoking mit Blackwatch-Tartan-Weste, weißes Hemd, schwarze Fliege.

Smoking / Black Tie

While bakerboy caps were used more as headgear for casual leisure or hard physical work, braces were standard. Belts were only occasionally popular as work clothing and were not initially intended for the use on suits.

Our image of the 1920s is, however, also shaped above all by film and television. Series like Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and Peaky Blinders convey a fairly authentic picture. However, this is mostly a regional and temporal part, which should not be overrated. Nevertheless, moving pictures offer a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Dunkelbrauner Dreiteiler aus Wollflanell, Ballonmütze, langer Mantel und abnehmbarer Kragen
Peaky Blinders style outfit


A few short explanations in moving pictures, e.g. what not to wear to a 1920s/Gatsby theme party, can be found on my YouTube channel:

Self sewing

To get clothes according to original cuts of the twenties is unfortunately very difficult nowadays. One way to get such pieces is to tailor them yourself. In order to enable hobby tailors to sew 20’s clothes, I have started a book project with bespoke tailor Sebastian Hoofs. The German version can be ordered right away. The international edition of our book is expected to be published on 1.10.2020 and can be pre-ordered (click on the picture to get to the campaign):