|Chapter title||I Am an Ordinary Man: Getting and Wearing Suits in Britain 1945-1980|
‘When you bought a Burtons’ suit…you were saying, basically, I am an ordinary man and that’s what most Englishmen really wanted’
Getting and wearing a suit was an experience common to most men in the post-war period in Britain. From the 1940s to the 1980s men had suits given to them, purchased for them and they bought them for themselves. The status and ubiquity of the suit as a garment worn by men, even as it has declined in significance, means it is an important site where men have negotiated their identities and sense of masculinity. The suit has operated as a marker of conformity but also of emotion, agency and choice, especially with made-to-measure tailoring.
This chapter provides new insight into the often-disregarded experiences of ordinary men and their engagement with fashion. It will argue for the importance of exploring the personal narratives around men’s suited lives as they reveal aspects of men’s identities, their changing relationship with the suit as they age, and the many meanings attached to particular forms of dress beyond simple fashionability.
|Book title||Everyday Fashion Interpreting British Clothing Since 1600|
|Publisher||Bloomsbury Visual Arts|
|Published||28 Dec 2023|
|Place of publication||London|