18 fashion tips modern men can learn from 1950s Sears catalogs

Who says you can't look sharp when you sleep?

Image: Wishbookweb.com

The 1950s are stereotyped as being clean-cut. Well, so? Looking clean and sharp never goes out of style. When in doubt, a businessman can always dress like Perry Mason or Ward Cleaver. 

We flipped through some Sears catalogs issued between 1952 and 1959 for some timeless fashion advice. In our modern world where every day is Casual Friday, we could learn a thing or two. Check out Wish Book Web for more awesome catalog flashbacks.

1. Button up.


These days, to say someone is "buttoned-up" is a pejorative. Bah. You can close every button and still play loose. Just look at these fellows enjoying some billiards. You can't reach the top unless you take your buttons to the top.

2. Wear a hat


And we're not talking about baseball caps. Those are for the Yankees and Cubs. A fedora keeps your head dry when it rains. It's that simple.

3. Yes, pleats!


Why pleats? Not only do they make pants a little roomier, they show off your impressive ironing skills. Keep those lines crisp!

4. Match your socks to your tie.


When you sit in a chair in the boardroom or the steakhouse, people are going to see your ankles. Make sure you impress with a pair of socks that match your necktie.

5. Match your cufflinks to your tie.


Think of your tie as the centerpiece. It, well, ties everything together. Take this sporty gent, for example, who goes with an equestrian look. It's a regular steeplechase on his upper body, with horse cufflinks, a horse tie and horse tie clips. Oh, yes, we forgot to mention to wear a tie-clip.

6. Match your wallet to your belt.


Don't be the guy who pulls out his wallet on a date only to reveal it's a nylon Pokemon wallet with plastic snaps. You are an adult. Leather up.

7. Match your son.


I think you get the idea now. Match as much as you can.

8. Slippers should be dressy, too.


Millennials might look at this photo and think, "Wow, that is some formal wedding footwear." This is what men wore inside when kicking back in the recliner. This is what men set on the ottoman. These are slippers. And they are dressier than a pair of orange-and-blue Adidas running shoes.

9. Own a lounging coat.


While you're kicking back after a hard day's work, stay sharp in a lounging jacket. Get a little exotic with a colorful print.

10. Sleep in pajamas.


Stay sharp 24-7, even when unconscious. You never know when you might have to wake up in the middle of the night and run outside. You don't want to be caught in a pair of boxers and a college t-shirt. There is no age limit on playful prints, either. 

11. Own a robe.


Now here's a classy Sunday morning look for reading the paper while washing down a rasher of bacon with black coffee.

12. Real men wear gemstones.


Emeralds, sapphires, rubies and diamonds are a man's best friend, too. Men can get colorful with their jewelry.

13. Carry a hanky.


It comes in handy. Impress others when offering up a freshly pressed hankerchief from your pocket like a true gentleman. Of course, they should sport your initials, too.

14. Personalize everything.


Speaking of personalizing, do not be afraid to let people know who you are. This was the social media of 1950s, though men did not hide behind a user name. Of course, it helped if you had one of the 36 approved men's names, from "Al" to "Wally."

15. Pop your collar.


Eighties preppies think they invented this with their polo shirts. Bah, did they learn nothing from going Back to the Future? When you're dressed this sharp, you can afford to be a little wild on the edges.

16. Velcro is a miracle invention.


Introduced in the late 1950s, Velcro was a benefit of living in the modern space age. It may seem lazy, but truly you are showing off the progress of mankind. In that sense, is it any different than an Apple Watch? Of course, Velcro should be kept to a jacket. Keep it away from your wallets.

17. The '70s never go out of style.


The 1870s, that is. Cowboys were kings in the 1950s, appearing on dozens of TV Westerns. It's the only cosplay that can pass for everyday apparel in the United States, so embrace it.

18. When in doubt, dress like the Fonz.


Leather motorcycle jackets are not just for greasers and punks. This fellow is ready to saunter into the soda fountain in style.

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Luis 31 months ago
The 50's sure was a great time to be a snappy dresser!
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