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The Green Suit

herringbonekid

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in the early 1920s catalogues 'olive green' was a very popular colour. it seems like every other suit was available in 'olive green'.
(mind you, they seem to use 'olive' for any shade of green from brown-green to muted-lime-green to forest-green).

so why did green fall from grace ?

like the slim high-waisted suits in those same catalogues, did men simply decide it didn't suit them ?
was there too much of a country-pursuits connotation to green for the average urbanite ?

do you think green suits deserve another chance, and would you wear one ?

Montgomery Ward, 1920:

M_Ward_green_02_zps9651b264.jpeg


M_Ward_green_01_zpsebcbf664.jpeg



every suit on this page has 'olive' in the description:

M_Ward_Palm_Beach_zps9fcdfdfa.jpeg
 
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Fastuni

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I have no explanantion why it did fall out of fashion... fashion can capricious, but maybe it was due to a dislike for military colors?

Anyway as the following chart illustrates there was a huge revival of green in the US in 1938-40.

http://oldmagazinearticles.com/draw_pdf.php?filename=Color-Trends.pdf

This also corresponds with recommendations in German tailoring periodicals for Winter 1939-40, where the colors suggested for sport-suits were green, olive and grey-green.

I personally would (and do sometimes) wear a green-based sportcoat. But never olive. The one color I don't like.
 
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herringbonekid

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i suspect the country-connection is the main turn off. city suits would logically require 'urbane' colours such as greys and blues and blacks. green would be the opposite of 'urbane' due to its nature associations. also, brown suffers the same fate (to a much lesser degree), hence 'no brown in town'.
 

Fastuni

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That's probably a huge factor.

As to brown(ish) colors, note that they constitute on the chart the most frequently sold single color group.
While not as "urban" as grey or blue, I think it's versatilty and "down-to-earth" aura made it a very popular choice.
 

Rabbit

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I'd rather not think about why green suits as well as brown ones have become a rare sight. It immediately brings to mind other topics like the disappearance of an emphasis of texture and material over pattern and color. In recent times everything in fashion seems to revolve around color and pattern alone. The fact that advertisements works through pictures rather than samples may accelerate this development.

I have a 530g green herringbone Harris tweed suit and if given the chance I'd wear more green suits - brown suits, too.

A sort of suburban or "into town" way of dressing seems very appropriate to me in many settings.

P.S. As far as I know, those old rules about no-something-in-town were originally targeted at the business districts of the metropolis (London) alone, not the entire town and certainly not other towns outside the metrop. Out of historical interest it would be great to have a primary source of these rules, of course.
 
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Gin&Tonics

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I'm actually quite fond of green suits/jackets. I own a lovely green blazer in 100% cashmere, and it's awesome. I like to pair it with black trousers with a cuff, and usually with some kind of waistcoat (usually my crimson canvas one). I would definitely wear more green and brown suits, especially the fantastic ones that started off this thread!
 

Fastuni

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Rabbit,

It is also my understanding that ¨no brown in town¨ only applied to those doing business in the financial district/¨City¨ of London.

There were so many British made bona-fide street suits in brown that it is unthinkable that brown was frowned upon as townwear.

Outside of Britain there is no question that brown was perfectly acceptable business/town wear.
(Except for certain old companies on the East Coast of the US with ¨dress codes¨ maybe.)

It certainly got misinterpreted by a public that clinges to ¨rules¨ often made up or misrepresented by those who want to push fashion into a certain direction.
It appears that Hardy Amies had much to do with a number of pseudo-rules that have become ¨conventional wisdom¨.

Here a previous thread on this:

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?72953-New-to-Sport-Coats/page6
 

The Good

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Unfortunately, I have no photographs, but my great grandfather's brother was known to have worn a green suit sometimes, during the 1950s. I think it was a shade of forest green. Green suits seem to have always been uncommon, but could anybody say for the 1950s, or post-war '40s if they were somewhat popular in fashions?
 

Benny Holiday

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Some years ago I found some smashing green tweed wool fabric with a grey/blue overplaid in Adelaide. I took it to my tailor when I got back home and had this suit made:

IMG_1026.jpg


IMG_1028.jpg


The green looks amazing with oxblood shoes. I also have a Ralph Lauren beltback sportscoat in green and brown herringbone, really heavy, thick winter weight material. I've seen plenty of old catalogue scans with green-toned suits in them and I'm all for them.
 

Benny Holiday

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I copied the design from one of Eddie Nichols' (from Royal Crown Revue) Jorge Avalos suits. There's a catologue from 1937, if I remember correctly it's a Sears catalogue, that has that design too.

Not to derail the discussion of green, but in a similar vein, teal is another colour that has been forgotten. I've got a 40s suit that's teal with brown and organe stripes, it's a killer colour. I wish they made that fabric again!
 

Fastuni

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Teal also counts as green. And yes, this is a shade I greatly like! Perfect for spring and summer.

I've got 2.5 meters of a teal&brown flecked fresco wool... one day It will be made into a sportcoat or slacks.
Or if anyone is interested in relieving me of it, drop me a PM. :p.

It is a hue darker/greenish and bit more muted in reality.

SAM_3860.jpg
 
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Benny Holiday

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That would look superb Fastuni! I've got a pair of teal slacks and another couple of metres of the same fabric waiting to be made into a jacket. It's a deep teal gabardine and quite heavy, bought it from Trim Fabric on the 'net. I love the flecks in your fabric!
 

Hal

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i suspect the country-connection is the main turn off. city suits would logically require 'urbane' colours such as greys and blues and blacks. green would be the opposite of 'urbane' due to its nature associations. also, brown suffers the same fate (to a much lesser degree), hence 'no brown in town'.
To me it's the simple matter of "black-shoe clothes" (i.e. greys, blues and blacks) or "brown-shoe clothes" (browns and greens), not where they are worn. But the notion mentioned in HBK's first sentence dies hard.
 

Two Types

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Green is good. I had a suit made in heavy green cavalry twill (many years ago). It has a yellow doeskin waistcoat with it and can look striking. But it does have a very 'country' look to it. I seldom wear it due to the weight and it doesn't fit well on the shoulders these days (my shoulders have had a few injuries over the years). But maybe I'll see about some alterations.
I also have a green herringbone late fifties/early sixties suit. The fabric is great but it's too small for me.

We should definitely wear more green.
 

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