18 Films Each Menswear Fan Ought to Watch: 1930s-1960s

published on July 2, 2020

Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette
Today, we'll discuss 18 movies every

clotheshorse should watch from 1930s
through 1960s

First up, this is part of a

series; if you want to see movies from
the 70s to the modern era,

check out this video and for best TV
shows for clotheshorses, check out this one

Personally, I've got an ambiguous
relationship to vintage movies on the

one hand, I find them usually super slow
and painfully boring so I dread watching them

On the other hand, I really like the
style aspects and so I watch it just for

the men's clothing Most actors back then
wear their own; mostly tailored clothes

so it's quite cool to see the actual
style they had and how to just utilize

it differently in different movies
With that said, let's dive right in with our

first movie in the 1930s: It Happened One
Night

It came on in 1934 and was one of only
three movies to win the big five Oscars

for Best Picture, Best Director, Best
Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay

The plot of the movie is basically that
a rich socialite falls in love with a

no-nonsense reporter It's a light
romantic comedy but the wardrobe of

Clark Gable is quite fascinating
The film is notable for showing Gable bare-chested,

which according to legend, led to
a drop in undershirt sales

On more personal, what I really keep in mind from
that movie is his very casual travel suit

Today, when people travel, they wear
sweatpants, maybe a hoodie, but back in

the day, you would have a comfortable
suit in a softer fabric with nice, big

patch pockets that would allow for a lot
of storage Particularly, his chest pocket

is a rather large patch pocket which is
not something you'll see today

especially not off the rack
To learn more about a Clark Gable style, please

check out this guide here
Next up is Top Hat from 1935 Frankly, we could have put

any of the nine movies that Fred Astaire
filmed with RKO in the 30s on this list,

but we chose Top Hat because as the
title implies, you see top hats and white

tie outfits a lot His full dress
ensembles fit immaculately especially

when dancing and back then, tailors would
specifically, adjust the sleeve pitch and

the angle it was sewn on for dancers and
artists who had to move their arms so it

always looked great on screen
The other outfits are also quintessentially

Astaire and they have a sense of a
rumpled elegance If you want to learn more

about Astaire's style and what made it
different, please check out this in-depth video here

From the forties, definitely
watch Casablanca which came out in

1942 and is a noir drama that became
really, really popular with people

It features Humphrey Bogart as Rick
Blaine, who was involved in love and

World War II and personal sacrifices
for the greater good

Style-wise, Bogart's ivory dinner
jacket became instantly iconic and was

later on, used by James Bond and Indiana
Jones

Likewise, Bogart's scenes in a trench coat
gave him the image that most people have

of him in that movie, today
It also helped to really cement the trench coat

into a garment piece that every man must have
By the way, we don't have a single

Bond movie on this list but if you want
to learn more about James Bond's style and

how we can use his style rules
implemented in your wardrobe, check out this video here

Next up is Blue Skies
from 1946 which pairs Fred Astaire and

Bing Crosby together Fortunately, this
film is in color so you get a much

better understanding of the different
color schemes they used in their clothes

In this movie, you can also watch Astaire
"Putting on the Ritz" in his formal wear ensemble

From the 50s, you definitely
want to watch Singing in the Rain from

1952 which by many, is considered to be
the best musical film ever

The three main characters including Gene Kelly,
sing and danced their way through the

1920s Hollywood silent movie areas to
the "talkies"

You can see Kelly wearing white tie, black
tie, sweaters, and a host of other stylish

combinations, all of which he can dance in
Also, check out a 1953 movie,

The Band Wagon, which is a musical of nearly
as good quality as Sing in the Rain but

it's just less acclaimed Not only do you
get to see more of Astaire's formidable

wardrobe, but you also get a glimpse at
Jack Buchanan's wardrobe who was a very

stylish dresser himself
As a sidenote, Astaire's blue and gray

ensemble towards the end of the movie
was the direct inspiration for Michael

Jackson in Smooth Criminal
The 1951 movie A Streetcar Named Desire starring

Marlon Brando is a story of class
conflict based on Tennessee Williams 1947 play

From a style perspective, its
most notable for Brando wearing a

t-shirt as outerwear because at the time,
that was strictly an undergarment

To learn more about the history of the
undershirt, please check out this guide here

Legend has it that Brando wearing a
t-shirt on-screen led to an increase in

t-shirt sales and men started to wear it
as a casual form of outerwear

Just earlier, Rebel Without a Cause start
James Dean with catapulted him to fame

especially among American teenagers
While the film opens with Dean wearing a

suit, he's best known for his red
Harrington jacket paired with a t-shirt

and a pair of jeans and engineer boots
To learn more about Dean's style please check

out our full feature on him here
The film Funny Face from 1957 shows once again,

Astaire, but now in a more seasoned age
He wears much more casual combinations, not

his typical white tie outfits
The 1957 with Silk Stockings, Astaire really

shows us what a capsule wardrobe looks
like, long before the term was coined

You see him combining his gray flannel
trousers, as well as his navy blazer, with

multiple different shirts, and ties
Last but not least, he dons a top hat with

white tie one more time, Vertigo, which
was directed by the master of suspense

Alfred Hitchcock in 1958; in my opinion,
is a really boring

slow movie but the clothes by Jimmy
Stewart really introduced a jet age into the mix

In our minds, the outfits
he wears really resemble a subtle form

of elegance, which I hope you can learn
something from In my opinion, a much better

movie was the 1959 North by Northwest
starring Cary Grant and his famous gray flannel suit

A panel convened by GQ in
2006 concluded that it was the best suit in film history

Why? Well, he used it to
run around and do everything you would

expect people to do in a tracksuit these
days, in fact, he looked a lot better

So who tailed this great garment?
Some people say it was the Savile Row tailor

Norton & Sons; others claim it was
Quintino from Beverly Hills

Sadly, we shall never know, but in any case,
you have to watch that movie simply

because of its style and I promise you
it's more entertaining than many other

old movies
Let's kick up the 60s with La Dolce Vita

and Marcello Mastroianni
While much of the visual focus of the

film lays on Anika Ekberg, Mastroianni
wears a bunch of great-looking suits

They certainly have a much more clean and minimalistic approach, which is something

a lot of men like these days do
Solids are paired with subtle patterns and nothing bold

Next up is Robin and the 7 Hoods
from 1964 which is a

mid-century musical that features the
Rat Pack While the wardrobe here

does verge on being a bit too costumey,
the 1960s take on the 20s is quite

entertaining even if it's a little more
bold than it probably was at the time

You may even see the Rat Pack commit
some style faux pas, such as wearing a

belt with a waistcoat To learn more
about the 50 Most Common Style Mistakes,

please get our free ebook here
Of course, you can also see some nice outfits from

Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and we
have a full style feature on him here

Bonnie and Clyde from 1967 with Warren
Beatty and Faye Dunaway is definitely

one of the more entertaining movies in
my mind The wardrobe of the film is more

1930s influenced, with some suits having
a more '60s shape

Even though that's not
quite accurate for the period, the styles,

the colors and the patterns are quite
fun to look at

Also, bees hats ranging from flat caps to
Fedora are worth noting

The film Bullitt from 1968 features the king of cool
Steve McQueen, and even though most

people remember the film for its car
chasing scene, it still has some

interesting, more casual clothing items
To learn more on Steve McQueen's

wardrobe and what made it so special,
please check out this guide here

Now, some consider a 1968 version of The
Thomas Crown Affair to be the most

stylish movie ever made
Personally though, I have to tell you, I prefer the

more modern version with Pierce Brosnan
McQueen's outfits in this movie largely

consists of three-piece suits, with a
flat-bottomed waistcoat, a watch chain

and most importantly, the Persol sunglasses
To learn more about this

iconic piece, please check out this guide here
Last but not least, we have Luchino

Visconti's movie, "The Damned" from 1969,
which show a range of formal wear and

it's supposed to emulate the German Krupp
family and their empire In this movie,

you will not only see morning wear,
black tie, and other outfits, but also

uniforms from the Nazis
This is definitely an avant-garde production to

end this series today, but it's going to
be a nice transition to part two, so stay

tuned
In today's video, I'm wearing an outfit

that is perfect to watch those old
movies in style It consists of a

so-called TV jacket in a mustard yellow
corduroy with black satin accents in a

shawl collar Other than buttons, there's
a casual satin self-tied belt

It also has turn back cuffs in satin,
as well as black piped pockets

on the chest, as well as on the sides
Because it's closed like a robe, it doesn't have any dents

I'm combining it with a
simple white shirt, as well as a pair of

corduroy trousers, with a tartan in dark
green, black, red, and yellow As you can

see the corduroy has about the same scale
As far as accessories go, I'm wearing a

very soft, comfortable madder
silk ascot from Fort Belvedere which

you can find in our shop just like the
Paisley pocket square or the black silk socks

Of course, because I'm home, I'm
wearing a pair of comfortable, green

velvet Albert slippers with a Fort
Belvedere logo

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