The 1910s fashion was also known as Edwardian fashion. Most clothing of men and women was influenced by Edwardian styles. When it comes to men’s accessories during the 1910s, they kept it minimal. They had a pair of braces or suspenders having vertical stripe elastic webbing or solid elastic webbing with buttonholes made up of leather on the tips. Men also carried a pocket watch with them to every occasion and tucket it in the suit vest pocket. Fabricated gloves were worn to parties whereas leather gloves were worn daily or to casual gatherings. Wealthier gentlemen of the age wore wool shoe spats to keep their expensive Oxford shoes clean. A rolled umbrella or a walking cane were also carried more as a fashion accessory.
Major male accessories during the 1910s
The following were the new accessories that were added to the list as the age passed by. We have listed below what men’s accessories comprised in the later period.
White snap gloves for parties, coloured leather, or cotton gloves for daytime. Leatherwork or striped elastic braces or suspenders to secure the pants. A belt was also an accessory. Walking stick or cane. A watch chain and a pocket watch were also carried. The wristwatch was just introduced into fashion. Apart from these, sleeve garters also called armbands were worn by bankers and musicians for keeping their sleeves tidy. Men also wore tortoiseshell frames or round metal sunglasses. A new accessory was the silk men’s scarf. Hand knitted scarfs were worn for providing warmth in winters. Also, men carried a messenger style bag, which had short handles to carry important papers to work. Needless to say, socks were an integral part of everyday clothing. They were stripes, Argyle, fair isle, or solid dark coloured ones. To get the gentleman’s sophisticated look, men often puffed cigars and carried a smoking pipe with them.
Now, let’s take a detailed look at each of the fashion accessories worn by men:
- Edwardian men’s hat
Pairing any outfit with a hat was the last bit of topping strictly followed by Edwardian men of the 1910s. For the daytime, men, however, wore bowler or derby hats while silk top hats while going to evening parties and formal occasions. A type of formal hat in those days was the homburg. These hats were usually grey, black, or dark brown coloured. It was a common type of hat which men, especially well-established businessmen wore to evening gatherings.
However, both silk hats and homburgs went out of style after the first world war ended because men demanded softer hats. They also wanted hats to be available in more colour variations. Later came the soft felt hats. One such hat style is the new fedora style hats. They had a rolled brim that tapered down in the front. They had a moderately tall crown, a broad grosgrain band, and a center dent. These new fedora hats were popular among young men. They have a classy and fashionable style. A lot of other variations of soft felt hats came up in the latter part of the 1910s, having little variations in the crown brands and brim. Most styles of however nameless. The ones which had a name had lost its meaning in present times. Athletes wore flat caps, also known as ivy, golf, or newsboy hats. Flat caps were available in 6-panel styles but were a flop when compared to the popularity of modern caps.
In the summertime, sailors, skimmers, straw boaters came to be worn. They had a flat round top, sold hatband, and flat brim. Panama was an expensive variety of hats which was worn by wealthier gentlemen. Panamas were also available in a variety of styles like gambler style with rolled sides and flat top, Optimo style, farmer style, having slightly dented top, and wide brim.
- Pocket squares and gloves
Besides hats, a wealthy gentleman’s wardrobe had pocket squares and gloves. Mostly, bright coloured gloves such as red or yellow were chosen over dark coloured ones like grey, brown, or black. They were manufactured using thin leather and secured at the waist with buttons. Sometimes they had scalloped edges, but generally straight cut. These old gloves are equivalent to modern unlined gloves that aren’t found in bright colours. Gloves in those days were made up of suede, soft kidskin leather, or summer cloth. Later various other accessories like bowties, neckties, cravat ties were developed. Cravats became popular daywear while thin bowties were worn to formal parties. Dar neckties also became popular with time.
The pocket square was a decorated handkerchief made up of silk, folded into a triangle, and kept in the chest pocket of every suit by gentlemen. The colour of the pocket square either coordinated with that of the man’s tie or the band of his hat. Besides the decorated handkerchief, men also carried a white cotton handkerchief for practical necessities.
The gold pocket watch
For maintaining time, the gold pocket watch has been a standard timepiece for several decades. The watch was attached to the vest’s buttonhole and wrapped across to a watch pocket. When in 1914, the first wristwatch developed, there wasn’t any more need for men to wear vests, but some wore just to complete the look.
The ties were tightly secured and thin, so as the fit under the high stand shirt collars. The thin knit tie was available in a variety of ties from broad, draped scarf ties to skinny, slender knitted silk ties. The ties couldn’t be seen mostly because of vests so the fun ties had to be preserved till summer times when there was no need of wearing vests. Ties were available in rich colours like maroon, blue, green, purple. Some had stripes, but had solid patterns, others had pin dots and common prints on them. As 1910 professed, butterfly bow ties became more popular than neckties.
Everyone, irrespective of their class wore caps. Lower class men wore a causal cap, an 8-panel floppy cap. These were used by the upper-classmen while doing sports or other activities. These caps came in tight fittings with an attached brim. For the summertime, men wore brightly coloured caps made up of linen or cotton poplin material. Also, they preferred the ones made up of silk for breathability. During winters, the caps worn were made up of herringbone, tweed, corduroy, and wool. Men preferred to wear darker colours in winters like browns, greys, blues, etc. They either had check or plaid or solid patterns. Usually, caps didn’t match the colour of the outfits, neither did they had to.
The 1910s fashion mostly carried on the tradition of previous times. Wearing hats was a symbol of social status. Everyone wore hats, no matter what their standard is. Straw hats came much later in the scene. These hats are even worn today. Just like driving caps and leather gloves, fedoras also became popular. Men usually wore knitted ties. Adding scarfs and ties rendered a look of sophistication to one’s outfit. As for sunglasses, round-shaped were largely popular.