Suits of 1916

Tailoring & the world 100 years on

Friday 1 July, 2016

The Great War dominated the headlines in 1916 with hundreds of thousands lives lost. Boeing began making aeroplanes and BMW introduced their engines. This was a year where many of the greatest battles ever fought took place, it was a year of great sadness and loss but also of valour, courage and inventiveness.

‘Sitting pretty’ a phrase conceived when the rest of the world was far from it, and where trench coats were devised to clothe the soldiers fighting for our freedom.  Battleship grey became a colour and the world of mens tailoring took a utilitarian yet youthful approach. Suiting was still de rigueur for all echelons of society. Slim fitting, single breasted in dark pallet of brown and grey reflecting the mood of the nation. What was noticeable was that  even in times of frugality the gentlemen’s  suit was sharp, and most importantly made to measure. There was no off the peg, or one size fits all. The cloth was hard wearing yet classic with an understated style. The suit was made for the man with a full canvas and that is why when we see images of the era it is the sophistication and simplicity of the silhouette that engages us.

One hundred years on and the style of yester year resonates through today’s tailoring trends where waistcoats and wide lapels are as popular as ever. With change a foot in Britain and where instability and uncertainty are catalysts for consumer caution it is important to look back in history.  In times of austerity quality was never compromised - the suit, an investment yet a necessity.  Today’s suit is your modern day armour, it is your defence against social attack.  Embrace change but be prepared and ensure what is represented is a perception of success created by your outward appearance. If you are dressed well people believe. If you look successful you will be successful.


For more information or advice on made to measure suiting contact William Young 1876 / / 01442 859034