We will start with the early 19th century, the precursor to modern dress for men. Beau Brummell, a London fashionista, and close confident to George the IV of Great Britain, was the arbitrator of all standards in men's dress and deportment. Mr. Brummell, was very anti "fop", deplored fussy ensembles, velvet coats encrusted with embroidery and jems, short pants, and silk hose. He encouraged men to be serious, black coats and sparkling white linens, excellent tailoring, and long trousers . The Brummell standard for men's fashion held sway for more than 100 years, even though Beau Brummell himself was out of favor before the mid 19th century. There was very little relief from severely fitted dark coats, stiff , boiled in starch shirt fronts and collars, every piece of garment measured to exact decreed standards of respectability and conformity to society. Grown up attire started very early for young men, always in tight collars, tight jackets and after the age of 12 or so, long straight trousers. Even after world changing events , such as the 1st World War, that radically altered women's fashion for ever, men were still held to 19th century dress modes. The 1930's did herald the crack in the peverable "armor " of male dress. Short jackets, after a lot of fussing and denouncing from older generations, were finally accepted in society. Clothes for informal and sportswear , were appropriately designed to function for these purposes, instead of the heavy wool suits and buttoned up shiny black leather boots. In looking at the 1st addition, of the Gentlemen's Quarterly January, 1930, the styles might have changed, but the quality of the tailoring and careful design held true to the standards of the 19th century. In the evolution to meet the needs and tastes of a new generation of men, education on how to dress was not abandoned. The role of the Gentlemen's Quarterly, ( and several like periodicals) was to liberate men from the grasp of the 19th century, and at the same time offering a new value of dress. The Gentlemen's Quarterly set about to teach men how to dress from pajamas to swallow tails. Coordinating colors, textures and proper fit was a serious undertaking on part of The Gentlemen's Quarterly, and their readers placed overwhelming trust in the magazine's edicts. Movies from the ‘30's and ‘40’ s were a parade of handsome men in beautifully tailored clothes. Think of how exquisitely even the thugs and gangsters were turned out, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart ! For the past couple of decades there has been a heartbreaking downside in men's fashions, confusion on part of the designers and resistance on part of the consumers, resulting in a fierce anti- fashion mentality. Men became attached to dressing “down”, way down, baseball caps ( worn backwards no less) , t shirts, hoodies and jeans. These little boy clothes are just as stringent and conforming as the old Beau Brummell dress code of one hundred years ago. The time has come to liberate men from just reacting to prescribed “fashions “ to actively deciding how to define what best suits themselves, in other words to develop taste! I have been an antique clothes dealer and fashion historian for many years. In my antique clothing store in Adams, I am surrounded by ten or more decades of clothing for woman, men, children and even clothing for babies. The divergent designs, does not create confusion in my mind, but on the contrary expands ideas and possibilities to reinvent oneself. Take ties for example, most men nowadays eschew ties, they are uncomfortable, no one knows how to tie a Windsor knot any longer, too fussy, etc. But ties were the fun part of dressing, the Art Deco graphics and designs on the ties from the 1930's and '40' were delirious, marvelous artworks worn right on your chest. Gabardine sport shirts from the 1950's, in muted shades of green. yellow, pale blue, and brown, were a delight to wear for casual dress.. And of course hats! men's hats were the piece de resistance of men's wear, not just an adornment for one's head, but a personal statement of identity. How a hat fit one's face, adjusted to one's head, what angle best suited the wearer, were factors all taken into serious consideration in choosing a hat. When I look at the men's suits and coats from the 1940's and 50's in my store, I can tell from the tailoring, that men had very high standards and knowledge of how clothes should fit. So guys, all is not lost! Take a page from the female "book", experiment, don't worry about looking jerky, get inspiration ( and education) from the past, add a little art to the mixture. I've included photos of several gentleman in various outfits, some from my store, some from their own wardrobes, covering a range of periods, and even a few illustrations from the 1930 first edition of Gentleman's Quarterly, to illustrate the possibilities that can be drawn to start learning about the adventure of self expression in dress.