Morrissey and Men’s Fashion

Earlier this week my friends and I went to see Morrissey in concert which is always a treat. I’ve seen him a handful of times since the mid-90’s and he’s a great showman. Throwing his shirt into the crowd (over and over–he changes shirts a lot), and dressing his band as retro British hooligans. All a good time.

Thought I’d include a few photos, and make note of his style influences. These images are a little tough to see but you can get the idea of his wardrobe, his band’s wardrobe (Ben Sherman or Fred Perry type shirts, Princeton style haircuts), and the fab back-drop.

His look has evolved through the years but always includes a strong 50s influence (sometimes a touch of 40s or early 60s) that fluctuates between “hooligan ringleader” and “bookish collegiate.” Lately he’s been leaning toward almost a “vintage gangster approach” somehow mixed with “Vegas crooner.”

Although he’s been looking like this since his 80s heyday, it seems more in style than ever. The New York Times recently published the piece Get Cool, Boy about West Side Story influenced style for hipster guys. And of course the look on the street has shifted from 80s to decades earlier as your grandpa’s wardrobe has become a hot commodity.

Speaking of men’s style both past and present, you might want to check out the new book The Men’s Fashion Reader edited by Peter McNeil and Vicki Karaminas.

I recently saw McNeil give a talk on Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor being a total dandy at the FIT Subculture and Style conference this past Feb.

It was a fascinating talk and I look forward to picking up this book. It includes chapters that pertain to the vintage men’s aesthetic including:

California Casual: Lifestyle Marketing and Men’s Leisure Wear, 1930-1960 by William R. Scott

‘His Clothes’: Fashionable Gay Masculinity and the Shopping Experience, London, 1950s-1970s by Clare Lomas

Cultural Responses to the Teds by Tony Jefferson

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