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BOOK GIVEAWAY: “American Menswear”

Oct 30, 2012
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The book American Menswear by Daniel Delis Hill was featured in the Notions department in a past issue of Threads. This book gives extensive details on menswear ranging from the Civil War to the twenty-first century. Each chapter covers an era of mens fashion. This is a great book to help explore the history of fashion.

It’s surprising to see the rapid changes especially due to the social developments, as Hill describes. With each chapter Hill shows how technological advancements, global and national events, and simply an evolving culture form the many parts to menswear. He includes all aspects of menswear, from hats to sportswear to underwear.


This book examines evolving ideas and ideals of masculinity across two centuries of American history. Hill doesn’t keep a shallow look, but deeply considers the events and attitude of the time periods to understand the choices of mens dress. This is a great resource when it comes to costume history. This is an excellent addition to any art library.


Which era would you find most fascinating? Share your thoughts in a comment, and you’ll be entered into our drawing for a copy of this book. Just leave your comment prior to the deadline–11:59 pm EST, November 12, 2012. The winner will be randomly selected and announced during the week of November 15. The winner will also be notified via email.

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  1. JacqKnits November 19th

    Oh my, that is an interesting question. There are so many eras. I love to see a man dressed in a suit. During the 1930's-40's there became such a change in men's clothing that it is quite interesting. The men looked spiffy in their over the top suits that began to really show the shilloute of a large V. In my opinion this design of suit was an easy wear. My meaning is that a lot of different body shapes could be hidden under the wide shoulder look. This gave the suited men a waist whether of not they had one. I also liked the fact that the men wore suits and hats to a lot of different functions. It is sad to realize that a Fedora has changed to a baseball cap. I can see in my mind's eye a narrow waisted suited man with the fancy hat going out with the lady in her chosen dress. Quite a fetching couple. Back then a man would actually have a handerchief and know how to use it or lend it to the lady. His shoulders looked wide enough to hold the weight of the entire world. Ah a good example is Clark Kent. Of course that sitcom was in the Fiftys but the look seemed to remind me of the 30's.

  2. DGov November 12th

    The 1960's - the height of the Ivy League. Bass weejuns, Khakis and Navy blazers. Quintessential American Menswear.

  3. User avater MissPat November 10th

    I can't say I liked the era, but I was fascinated with the Leisure Suits. How they got men to buy and where those things just amazes me. Men are so traditional that their styles have a way of staying put for years on end.

  4. Serral November 9th

    I like the men's wear of the 1980's, when Miami Vice and Don Johnson were the rage. The clothing was formal - double breasted suits - but worn informally with a silk tee shirt underneath and a great pair of Italian loafers.

    Yes rolled up sleeves are now a cliche, but great soft yet structured jackets in colors other than gray, black, brown and navy made men look polished but not stuffy, casual but not grungy.

    A man in a tuxedo from almost any era is eye candy...:)

  5. user-1115665 November 9th

    The era of Menswear fashion I think is so fascinating starts around 1910 thru 1914. The suits of the gentlemen were becoming slimmer, the pants shorter, and the shoulders wider. While womens dresses were becoming “top heavy”, etchings of mens suits showed a very “V” shaped, but barrel chested form. The paintings from those years were so exaggerated, with men beginning to show off a larger, fuller stomach and were obviously proud of their ability to indulge in food to excess. The formality of these suits have never been duplicated, I can’t imagine how long it took for the Gentleman of the Day to dress himself with all the different parts, right down to the spats on their pointed toe shoes, and don’t forget the ever present hat and cane, and I love that this was as proper going to a formal dinner as going to a baseball game. How uncomfortable were those high stiff Arrow collars, but it was fashion first for the men of the day! Wish those days would return!

  6. TuscanFlower November 7th

    I'm most interested in the fashion from the 50's.

  7. KarylC November 6th

    I love the Colonial period, with the beautiful embroidered waistcoats, but I suppose that doesn't qualify as "American".
    So, Civil War to turn of the century.

  8. User avater Stitcher75 November 6th

    I can't say I find menswear fascinating, although some of the medieval garb worn in the SCA is nice. My husband would steal the clothes right off Fred MacMurray's "My Three Sons" set if he could.

  9. lonelysewer November 6th

    I have always loved the 30's and 50's menswear, they're such a staple look that goes and comes through the years.I love to create and design these era's clothing and looks...Lovely in some of the finest of wools and even linens and silks. This book would help me in so many ways.

  10. emilynd06 November 6th

    Maybe it's just Mad Men, but I think early '60s menswear is fantastic!

  11. CarolynSoto1 November 6th

    I like men's suits from the 1930s because of the fitted waist. Also the hats, of course! I wish they would make a true comeback.

  12. User avater Missahope November 6th

    Love the menswear from the 30's to the 50's. Everyone dressed so refined! Especially love men in hats!

  13. User avater Loey November 6th

    I sew a lot of Revolutionary War garments for my husband, who is an active member of the Sons of The American Revolution. He, of course, also has ancestors who were in the Civil War, so I'm sure will need to be doing the research on that era and constructing uniforms and civilian attire for that period in the near future. This book would be a Godsend!

  14. User avater Maritza November 4th

    I'm currently enrolled on sewing classes and next module will cover menswear, this book would certainly help! I love the early 1900's mensware!

  15. User avater DreamyDahlia November 3rd

    I'd be most interested in menswear of the Civil War Era. It always fascinates me to learn how things were done/made/worn in earlier times.

  16. User avater Becky611 November 3rd

    I have always liked the menswear from the 30's they were so "dapper".

  17. misssarcastica November 2nd

    Oooh, I love Civil War menswear, so handsome!

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