In the 1910s, men’s dress was not much different from men’s wear today. Edwardian men usually wore suits by day and formal tailcoats by night, while they would like to wear more casual clothing for sporting events. Compared with the oversized and bland fashion of the past decade, the suits showed youth and brighter colors in Edwardian era. Men usually wore sack suits. These were long, plain, loose fitting suit jackets with a wide lapel and one to three buttons. Modern suits are similar to those of in this period, but often shorter and more form-fitting. Sack suits down to mid-thigh in length, having single or double breasted with 3 buttons. The colors of suits were dark navy, blue, gray, green and brown.
During this period, suits were made of wool. Some were cheaper fabrics, such as blended wool and cotton together. They were very thick compared with modern suits fabrics. The new style was only suitable for young men, while the double-breasted style fitted for slim men.
After World War I, men abandoned the drab military colors and their father’s old clothes. They wanted more casual and natural style without shoulder pads, and brighter colors and tailored fit. In fact, they wanted the suits to be made with a softer cut and shorter coat and lighter materials. A natural design suit was Jazz suit. Jazz suit was designed with tight shoulders. The waist was close to the ribs, with 3 closely spaced buttons. The trousers were short above the ankle and looked like a stovepipe.
Edwardian men wore light-colored suits, such as light grey, tan and white. After the war, suits began to shift to bright and cheerful color tones, as well as to bolder patterns, like large plaids, contrasting chalk stripes, windowpanes and tweed. The trend was popular throughout the year, but it was more common in the summer and on the coast. The new white Palm Beach fabric quickly became popular in the tropics and can be worn in every style of suit from business to casual.
Men always wore a vest underneath the suit. Most vests didn’t have lapels or collars. They had 2-4 pockets for holding a pocket watch. Underneath the vest was a shirt. These shirts were the same as modern dress shirts, which were in light colors, such as white, gray and stripes. At the beginning of the 20th century, men’s high collars were stiff. After the war, the stiff collars turned to soft collars. These collars could be detached, and they were made of linen or rubber.
A hat was an accessory that men usually wore in Edwardian era. Felt or bowler hats were the norm for everyday wear, while silk hats were worn by men on formal occasions. As another formal hat, the Homburg was worn by well-dressed businessmen on evening affairs. Both hats went out of fashion after the war, when men preferred soft felt hats in more color choices. Fedora hats, straw hats, sailors and skimmers all could be worn in the summer. Another casual hat was the bucket hat. It was worn by fishermen and farmers that used to protect them from the sun and the rain.