100 years of wedding shoes


Over the past 100 years, the classic men’s wedding suit has firmly cemented its presence in every man’s wardrobe. Modern-day suits can easily double up for business and pleasure, but what do these wedding ceremony styles look like throughout the past few decades?

During the 1920’s, the Great Gatsby novel formed a huge influence in leading the direction of men’s suits and styles. The release of Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation even brought the trend back to the high street for a short time in recent years, with luxury details such as satin lapels and pearl cuff links making a brief comeback.

The 1930’s saw wedding suits with jackets that were much longer than those we’re all now used to. Jacket buttons sat above the waistline and lapels were a lot shorter than they are now. Trousers were made to fit loosely rather than fit snugly, and there was much more room for movement. Three pieces were popular throughout this decade, and a suit produced during this time period was rarely seen without a waistcoat. This style of suit was also carried through to the 1940’s, but men's clothing was much more minimal as a result of the second-world war and clothing rations.

Three-piece wedding suits remained a popular option moving through to the 1950’s, but with the war there became a bigger focus on conventional wedding fashion. Post-war heroes wanted to fit in as opposed to stand out when it came to their outfits. Men wore block-coloured suits that were simple and served their purpose, and there wasn’t much difference between suits that were worn every day and for special occasions like weddings.

The sixties were the age of rebellion, with individuals getting creative with their choice of wedding suits, defying the much celebrated conservatism from the previous decade. This was the turning point for clothing retailers who began to realise that choice was key. Men experimented with suits and styles throughout this era, and it was very much a case of ‘anything goes’ when it came to style.

Wedding suits in the seventies continued to give a nod towards rebellion, and suit styles were much freer flowing. Legs and lapels were a lot wider, making suits look less formal, and men began to team neckties with shirts and buttons that were half fastened.

The 80’s were all about bold prints and garish accessories teamed with traditional suits. Men took their power dressing very seriously, and weddings were a great place to experiment and showcase new prints and accessories.

The casual business look came to fruition in the 1990’s, and this was where a big difference became visible between work and wedding suits. Corporate dress became less formal, allowing wedding suits to become increasingly luxury in terms of appearance.

The millennium mash-up of suits took inspiration from various sources, but mainly popular music. NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Take That were the style icons of this era and their fashion sense was reflected in wedding suits all over the UK.

Thankfully suit styles have quickly torn away from the pop-inspired phase that dominated the early twentieth century, and wedding suits today are shaped by minimalism, detail and quality materials.