2020: The Year of Vintage Inspiration

Posted by Ethan M. Wong on

The green light is calling, because the 1920’s have literally returned!  We’re ready for the jazz, endless liquor, and parties that this decade will no doubt bring.  And with it, comes a great source of style inspiration that has always come to define some of the very best of classic menswear.  But to avoid an unnecessary reboot, read on to find out ways to bring back the best of the roarin’ twenties (and general vintage) style in an updated way!


Plaid trousers in streetwear? Cool!

Let it be known that vintage style will always be around.  We’ve seen the 90’s come back in streetwear and the 70’s make a return with all the love for plaid, boots, and safari jackets. But the 1920’s seems to be slept on.  It’s most likely due to the fact that everything from that era is a bit more tailored; even the hair styles are nice and tight, a sharp contrast to the messy hair more common today.  We might be big proponents of #sportorial style in our more casual attire, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get inspired by the 1920s! In fact, we welcome these “new” style ideas, because a new year is about change and evolution, not about staying stagnant.

Just look at how streetwear has had a big change recently. You can see them starting to embrace classic trousers (in plaid no less) and even old school preppy blazers! It’s a great nod to the past in a way that is updated and sharp. Here are just a few ways you can get some of that Gatsby or Thomas Shelby charm in your attire for 2020.  You’ll look extremely fashion forward while you secretly look to the past for your information. 

Classic Trousers

It should be known by know that we like a classic trouser, one that takes cues from the past.  In the 1920s, the emphasis was on clean tailored lines. This didn’t mean overly skinny, thigh hugging pants that were cropped above the ankles.  When you look at real pictures of the 1920s, you’ll see straight legs that are full without being baggy and yet slim without being skinny. It has a clean yet masculine look that we feel has been absent everywhere, except those in the know.

On that same note, we should embrace pleats in our trousers.  Not only do they add even more room and movement (I’m looking at you, gym-heads), but they help add to the sharpness of a great crease in a tailored pant.  They’re definitely old school and have a bit of a bad rap to them thanks to the god-awfulness of the 80s and 90s, but when everything is done right, it’s damn good.  Just look at how we’ve included them on our famous gurkhas. The best part is that they go with literally everything.

Our final note in pants is that the 2020 should really be the year of high waisted pants.  We’ve talked about them before, but like the wider leg and pleats, it only serves to create clean lines and gives the illusion of long, slim legs. It’s also more comfortable and holds in that eggnog-tummy in rather than have it spill over the top of a low rise waistband.  It’s something supremely classic that goes with everything, whether you’re wearing a shirt and tie or even just a tee shirt to be a rebel.

Blake Scott in our Gurkhas.

This is less of a style move and more so just us wishing that the trend of overly skinny pants dies just like Gatsby did at the end of the Great American novel. Like Kylo Ren says, we need to let the past die.

Wide Lapels and Dramatic Collars

The 1920s was all about extravagance and that’s something we should incorporate into our style this new year. The age of minimalism and playing it safe is over and quite frankly we’re tired of it. We’re all about character, hence why we love making our products available to be customized in fit and fabric.

One of the best ways to get a more elegant or even dramatic look is by going with wider lapels on your suit jackets and sportcoats.  There’s just something so louche about it, almost as if your lapels are saying “fuck you” to everyone else. It’s definitely a nod to not only the 1920s, but the 1930s and 1940s too (we don’t discriminate!).  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not costumey in the slightest, especially if you go with soft shoulders to anchor in that easy look.  

Visually, it really emphasizes a muscular look, as the long lines of the lapels draw the eye outward to the shoulders. This results in the image of a broad chest and slim waist, which is also helped if you have a great tailor to get the fit just right.  Just look at Robert Redford in the 1970’s Great Gatsby movie; he looks strong and yet so perfectly elegant.

The same effect can be done for coats and casual jackets! Instead of broadening the chest and slimming the waist, a long dramatic collar is almost purely for aesthetics and that’s okay; we’re getting extra this new decade.  It’s a great finishing layer for a suit, to add to Even if you don’t do it with an overcoat, try it with your leather jackets or even safari jackets. Not only will you win style points, but a longer collar really just means more protection against the elements.  Who knew that style and function could go together?

Bold Checks and Stripes

As you’ve gathered from this piece, we really want to go bold in 2020.  And that means diving deep into checks and patterns with our tailoring. Again, minimalism lately has been the theme, with many sharp guys going with sleek, solid colors. There’s nothing wrong with that, but just like our love of the original Jaguar E-type,  going a bit old school is definitely what we want.

Checks and stripes inherently have an old school charm and that’s why we love them.  When you look back at the well dressed men in photographs from the 1920s, you’ll see that they were no stranger to patterns.  In fact, their mastery over it makes them look so effortless despite the fact that they’re being more adventurous than most other guys out there today.  You can look at Boardwalk Empire for modern interpretations of this vintage style that actually are completely wearable today!

We already talked about embracing checks in our Holiday post, but patterns aren’t just for Christmas parties or NYE kickbacks. They’re for fun and showing some style prowess.  A great glen plaid is classic, but you shouldn’t stray away from houndstooth or gunchecks if you feel the call for it. Even stripes are cool, for that old school gangster vibe. Worn as an odd jacket, you get a great boater vibe, especially if you opt for bold wide stripes in different colors.   Either of these suits under a dark, dramatic overcoat, and you’ll feel your style increase by the hundreds.

However, the real style move is done by splitting them up and wearing the patterned pieces as odd trousers.  Don’t be intimidated by having plaid or striped pants, because they’re much more versatile than you think. All you need is to keep the top plain, whether that’s with a chambray spread collar, a one piece collar polo, or even a slick turtleneck.  It’s a great way to make for an interesting look that is separate from simply wearing grey flannels or khaki chinos. You can always have fun with your pants! 


 Belted Jackets

We’re always going to be big advocates of belted jackets. There’s just something so cool about them. There’s a bit of that utilitarian charm that comes across, as you can see in old 1920’s advertisements. But the fact remains that belted sportcoats and casual jackets were a big thing in the era, that was slowly phased out by the time we got to the 1930s. Because of that, wearing one with a tie and sharply tailored trousers has an instant vintage effect that looks incredibly cool.

Our Rakish Safari

We’ve discussed the idea before in a previous article, but just know that it’s something you can always try in place of your favorite sportcoat.  Our Safari Jackets are perfect for the look.  You can always put it over the top with a nice flat cap, just to lean further into that early 1920s vibe.  

Even beltless, a safari jacket with a tie looks cool.

Cream Trousers

This last piece of advice is to take a page right from Nick Carraway in the 2013 Gatsby film.  In it, he wears a great blue blazer with some cream trousers, making for a smart look that looks both sharp and old school. In reality, cream trousers were an incredibly popular choice as an odd trouser that even rivaled the classic grey for men in the 1920s.  It has more vibrancy and character than the standard khaki but retains a bit of that prep school/ ivy charm for styling inspiration.

Don’t be upset if you don’t have true “cream” trousers, as the shade is open to interpretation! You could go white for stark contrast or something closer to a golden khaki if you aren’t ready for it yet. Either way, it’s a great way to get some classic 1920s style, especially when you wear it with tailoring. A navy blazer again is the traditional choice, but the contrast is great against brown plaid jackets and grey herringbones. However, if you really want to get that true Roaring Twenties look, you’ve gotta go with a boater stripe jacket.  Just make sure you leave the straw hat at home.

Luckily for you guys, our cream gurkhas are the best way to go.  Not only are they already nicely cut, high-rise, and pleated, but the color is spot on to wear with everything from sneakers or loafers.  It's the best way to get that Gatsby steeze.

I hope to see many of you guys rocking  bold, vintage style this upcoming year! It’s a time of new changes, quite a few are actually inspired from looking to the past as there is always an ocean full of ideas that deserve to be brought back in fashion. Now lets get Roarin in the Twenties, for the second time in Human History.

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