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What makes a 1960's suit so unique?

Hugh Beaumont

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Fort Wayne, Indy-ana
I really should know this....but I can't put my finger on it.

I collect 50's and early 60's shirts with over 100 in my collection, so I thought I had an eye for the era, but can't seem to put my finger on what makes an early 60's suit look 60's in the same vein as MAD MEN.

All of their suits look 60's. Is it the slimer, form-fitting cut? What are some characteristics of an early 60's suit? How do they differ from suits of today?
 

reetpleat

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Flat front, trim fit, tapered legs, which is not common today, and quality you can't find today. Higher arm holes than today, narrow lapels. many new suits are emulating that style though. So do you mean distinct from today, or from 50s or 70s?
 

Feraud

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Hardlucksville, NY
And what designers apparently cannot copy..Sharkskin!
DSC02759.jpg

DSC02765.jpg
 

1930sam

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i dunno but your right there effortless and stunning
theres no gimmicks to them and yet they can make you stand out
i think it might be the style of JFK that made the 60s suit so classy
 

Guttersnipe

One Too Many
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Don't forget...

...no brake on the pants. Suit pants with dramatic lack of brake - almost verging on being to short - is totally hallmark of 60's suits.
 

reetpleat

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Feraud said:
And what designers apparently cannot copy..Sharkskin!
DSC02759.jpg

DSC02765.jpg

You see a lot of 60s type fabric in the eighties, including sharkskin. Unfortunately, they did it in double breasted styles. Didn't work well.
 

dhermann1

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Da Bronx, NY, USA
That's also about when the waistlines started going down. I think the real turning point starts around 1956 or 57. The style was definitely predominant by 58. My mother would incessantly pull me to pull up my trousers, and I couldn't convince her they wouldn't go any higher. lol
 

Feraud

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reetpleat said:
You see a lot of 60s type fabric in the eighties, including sharkskin. Unfortunately, they did it in double breasted styles. Didn't work well.
Did the 80s do the real sharkskin or just shiny suits? The vintage sharkskin suits I've seen have two different fibers woven together to give the shimmer effect.
Modern versions, such as that worn by Bill Bellamy on Last Comic Standing, appears to be just shiny suits.
 

MrBern

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Some designers like Roberto CAvalli have shiney suits that arent quite sharkskin.
I believe this Adrien Brody shiney suit is a designer tuxedo. I cant remember...mightve been Prada. Notice the modern shiney textile wrinkles instantly.

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As for the `60s suit in general...I always think of Spy shows. A minimalist delight. Trim, no break, no pleats, fewer buttons. Always kempt. A sliver of a pocket square. White shirt, skinny tie.

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Widebrim

I'll Lock Up
Minimalist is right

MrBern said:
As for the `60s suit in general...I always think of Spy shows. A minimalist delight. Trim, no break, no pleats, fewer buttons. Always kempt. A sliver of a pocket square. White shirt, skinny tie.

2121894350_3b0bd92b8c.jpg


2361763363_d956e0d1d7.jpg

That's pretty much it; sort of an Art Deco, streamlined form of tailoring, with few frills and waste. As I've written before, when I don wide lapels and ties, I feel vintage, but when I wear (late '50s) early '60s jackets and ties, I feel classic (although I don't care for ties that are ultra-skinny). Maybe that's why I'm such a fan of Crime Story.
 

tempestbella42

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united kingdom
i dont know about in the USA but over here i think the fact that the majority of suits in the 1960s were tailor made makes the biggest differance!
in Leeds(west yorks) my hometown there were/still are taylors that recreate the look made to order......Was it "off the peg" that caused such a difference in quality??:)
 

H.Johnson

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Midlands, UK
Not necessarily because, as you no doubt know being from Leeds, Montague Burton pretty much revolutionised the 'off-the-peg' market in England (there were equivalents in the USA) with mass production techniques and standardised sizing systems. If you are lucky (i.e. are a standard size and shape) you will find it difficult to tell the difference between a 1960s off-the-peg men's suit and a bespoke suit. In my opinion the quality of some 40s, 50s and 60s Burton suits is that good (I have a number of them). The main difference is that (in theory) you wouldn't tend to meet someone else wearing the same suit if you 'went bespoke'. The fallacy of that argument can be seen if you look at early photographs of, say, London city bankers who have all paid a huge premium to specify exactly the same suits...
 
80s sharkskin was garbage because mills changed the way rayon was produced. And what you see on the Rat Pack would be top of the line silk or mohair and not sharkskin.

To think, whenever I brought 60s style up a few years back, everyone here said 'yecch'. Guess that's the power of television for you. :rolleyes:

Regards,

Jack
 

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