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Article: Timeless Elegance: Vintage and Classic Suits for Men

Timeless Elegance: Vintage and Classic Suits for Men

Timeless Elegance: Vintage and Classic Suits for Men

Are you seeking a timeless piece that exudes sophistication in every setting? If so, then classic men's suits might be for you. A true piece can make you look exposed, cultured, and wise in any room. While it falls into vintage fashion, don't be thrown off by retro suit styles. These suits are detailed, unique, and a great piece to subtly reveal your character, serving as a fantastic first impression. If you want to stand out from the crowd, curate attention, and look like a trusted gentleman, explore everything you need to know about vintage suits with us.


Exploring classic suit styles from different eras

To know which vintage suit might work for you, let's step back in time and explore the most popular ones through the eras.


Victorian era

We can trace suit style all the way back to Victorian times! Back then, this popular suit had a fitted waist, knee-length cut, and a skirt that made hips flare out. These type of suits had matching trousers and a waistcoat.



Next up was the Edwardian era, where the armholes were high in jackets, sleeves were slim, and they had a fitted waist. The shoulders weren't really padded and had an elegant silhouette. Suits had a stronger focus on the finer details, having lapels with high gorgers and upturned peaks highlighting a slim cut. Most of the jackets were tailored to have fastened buttons and button-flat pockets.


1930s The Great Depression

During this time, suits had a more structured look with padded shoulders, wide lapels, and pleated high-waist trousers. In the 1930s, suits were typically made from wool and had an understated look. You could say these suits were more tailored.


1940s World War II

In the 1940s, a common suit, known as the utility suit, was worn. Compared to the suits sported during the great depression, these were a lot simpler, with fewer pockets and narrow lapels. The fit was a lot looser and baggier. They were often made from affordable fabrics like rayon or wool.


1950s Post War Prosperity

During the 1950s, suits became more bold and bigger. Padded shoulders returned, low buttons were moderately added, and suits took on a boxy long fit. Trousers typically were tapered and had a high rise.


1960s The Mod

When the 1960s came, a major change in menswear occurred due to the mod era. The casual style started to surface, and tailoring became more conservative. Typically, men would wear a 3 roll 2 sack suit with thinning lapels and a high gorge. This type of suit would be made out of flannel, corduroy, or worsted.


1970s Disco

In the Saturday Night Fever era, many men worldwide would wear a leisure suit. This flamboyant suit would come in a range of bright colors, bold patterns, wide lapels, and flared fabrics. It was certainly…groovy!


1980s Power suits

Once the 80s arrived, dominance kicked in, and men reverted to showing their status through suits. Suits were designed to evoke authority and power, with sharp shoulders, bold pinstripes, old accessories, and tailored silhouettes.


How to incorporate vintage elements into modern suits?

\ Ready to revive the times? Here are some of our top tips on how to add a vintage feel to your modern-day suit:


Fabrics and patterns

One of the easiest ways of stepping back into time is by selecting retro-styled fabrics. Tweed, corduroy, wool flannel, and herringbone are associated with a retro look. They'll add a sense of texture and style if you wear them. Combine this with classic patterns like pinstripes, houndstooth, or windowpane, adding a vintage look.


Select vintage silhouettes

Look out for silhouettes that have a vintage look. Think double-breasted jackets, peak lapels, straight trousers, or wide legs. Go for broad shoulders and a boxy fit if possible,


Mix and match

You don't have to go for a full-blown vintage look if you don't want to! The key is to start off small by only mixing and matching one or two vintage items. Add a corduroy blazer to a modern shirt, or wear wide-legged pants underneath your suit jacket.


Accessorizing with a vintage twist

If you want to go for a retro look, then you can mix and match, as we mentioned just above. The best way to start off is by focusing on your accessories:


Pocket squares

Pocket squares can add a vintage charm to your look, especially if you fold them in a puff or presidential fold. Aim to go for houndstooth, paisley, or retro prints whenever possible.



A classic vintage watch or pocket watch can add a vintage twist to your outfit. To ensure they're classy, go for watches with minimal details like leather bands, classic watch faces, or designs from the past.


Lapel pin or brooch

Elevate your lapels by adding an iconic pin or brooch. Look for subtle designs that reflect the style and color of your suit.



Vintage eye frames can always add elegance and a classic look. Round glasses, tortoise shells, round frames with browline accents, and rimless ones can add a retro feel.



Another option is to wear vintage footwear like brogues, monk straps, oxfords, loafers, or Chelsea boots. Often, leather shoes provide a vintage feel for any outfit.


Where to find quality vintage suits?

If you're looking for a vintage suit, there are many places you can get them. You can try looking out for them from:

  • Thrift stores: In thrift stores, there are often second-hand suits, and some sometimes have a selection of high-quality vintage suites.
  • Marketplaces: You may pick up a vintage suit from marketplaces like eBay or Asos Marketplace
  • Vintage fairs: Look if there are any vintage fairs upcoming in your area. If so, there are likely stalls that sell vintage suits.
  • Tailors: Visit your local tailors to see if they have any vintage suits that have been tailored or refined.


Bottom Line

Suits are no new garment; they've been serving up statements for men for nearly 100 years. From boxy to slim fits, lots of buttons to little, bright colors, flared pants, and more, there have been some iconic looks worn. If you're looking for a vintage suit but don't know where to start, we suggest trying mixing and matching different items first. Save purchasing an entire outfit - try one of our blazers or shoes like Oxford to add a vintage twist to your look. If you're seeking some style inspiration on achieving a vintage look, contact us, and we'll be happy to help.

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