12 Vintage Men’s Fashion Trends That Would Be Deemed Too Bold or Inappropriate Today

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Fashion trends are ever-changing, whether for men or women. What was once considered stylish and modern might be seen as too bold, inappropriate, or even offensive today. So, we’ll look back at 12 vintage men’s fashion trends that were once popular but would likely invite criticism if worn today.

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Zoot Suits

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Zoot Suits became synonymous with a rebellious and youthful culture in the 1940s. They were characterized by their exaggeratedly long jackets and high-waisted and wide-legged trousers. And how did they look? They carried flashy colors and were popular among African American, Latino, and Filipino American communities. But here’s a catch: even then, they became controversial and led to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. People would have criticized it for being dramatic and socially provocative if it had been popular today.

Powdered Wigs

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For European men, powdered wigs symbolized status and fashion during the 17th and 18th centuries. These wigs were large, powdered to appear white, and scented to mask odors. However, such a trend will likely face criticism today for being impractical, excessively formal, and a remnant of an era marked by strict class differences.

Peacock Revolution Attire

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Do you know that there was a peacock revolution in the 1960s and 1970s? In the revolution, men embraced vibrant colors, floral patterns, and extravagant fabrics that challenged traditional masculine dress codes. And if we talk about the fashion, it included paisley shirts, bell-bottom pants, and velvet blazers. While it portrayed individuality and freedom in a flashy style, it may be too odd today.

Disco Suits

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Remember those flashy suits made from synthetic fabrics like polyester in bright colors and paired with wide collars and flared trousers? These suits in the late 1970s were designed for the dance floor to catch the audience’s attention but might be deemed for being loud and overly flashy in today’s time. Additionally, people might also criticize it for being environmentally unfriendly and uncomfortable.


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Spats were worn overshoes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to protect them and add a touch of elegance. They were also called ‘spatterdashes’ and made from cloth or leather while becoming a part of formal attire. However, as the definition of fashion evolves, spats would be viewed as old-fashioned and excessively frilly as they reflect a level of formality that has vanished mainly in today’s time.

Mutton Chops

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Mutton chops were a beard style popular among men in the 19th century. It was often associated with figures like Union Army generals and Victorian gentlemen. However, people now wonder why it was even famous, as they were just thick, bushy sideburns connected to a mustache that would create a dramatic look. Even though there’s a wave of keeping a good beard in today’s generation, such styles are likely to receive criticism for looking odd and overly theatrical.

Mesh Shirts

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You must have seen mesh shirts becoming popular recently, but they were much more popular in the 1970s. They were a daring and scandalous fashion choice, revealing much of the wearer’s torso. The shirt was made from sheer, net-like fabric, and men preferred to wear it in disco and club scenes as this was eye-catching attire. However, their transparency and overly revealing nature might be considered inappropriate today.

Leisure Suits

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Leisure suits earned quite a popularity in the 1970s, but from today’s perspective, they are likely to earn criticism from people. Even though they were made from polyester and featured a more relaxed fit with wide lapels and bold colors, people might call them out for their poor taste paired with synthetic material and flashy design. It was originally designed for casual wear and personified that time’s love for comfort and vibrant fashion.

Jabot Shirts

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Jabot Shirts, with ruffled or frilled fronts, were considered fashionable among European aristocrats in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were made from fine linen or silk and worn with elaborate waistcoats and coats. Though many still like them as vintage fashion pieces, they might be considered impractical for everyday wear today. The detailing and association with aristocratic luxury might not go well with today’s comfortable fashion viewpoint.

Knee Breeches

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Knee Breeches were trousers worn with stockings in the 18th century. They ended just below the knee and were common among gentlemen and military officers. Today, this style is seen as impractical and too formal due to its largely limited use in historical re-enactments and period dramas. Men today prefer full-length trousers for both comfort and practicality.

Nehru Jackets

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Jawaharlal Nehru was the Indian Prime Minister, and his jacket style became a global fashion statement in the 1960s. It was a hip-length jacket with a mandarin collar and captivated the audience due to being an exotic and stylish alternative to traditional Western suits. However, this jacket will likely be under scrutiny today because it is considered too unusual and formal for mainstream wear.

Platform Shoes

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In the 1970s, platform shoes were popular among men, particularly in the disco scene. These shoes had thick soles and high heels, were often brightly colored, and were made from odd materials. Even though platform shoes have recently again gained popularity, many people still criticize them for being potentially risky due to their height. Men today emphasize comfort, durability, and modest style more.

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