Vintage Menswear: A Collection from the Vintage Showroom
The Vintage Showroom is a renowned London-based collection of historic clothing, and the 300 pages of Vintage Menswear feature 150 pieces from the Showroom's archives. Books like this have a tendency to feature antiquated costumes, but Vintage Menswear focuses on clothing for sport, work, and military use. And a funny thing happens: When you set aside fashion, which is fleeting by design, you find that pieces built at least in part with some basic utility in mind hold up quite well. Some are expected—Belstaff's iconic Trailmaster motorcycle jacket is essentially unchanged since its mid-century introduction—but some examples are quite startling. A tailored lightweight military coat (shown in our slideshow next to the book cover) looks completely contemporary but was introduced in 1917. Nearly a century ago. You could wear it with dark denim, suede chukkas and a t-shirt and nobody would think it even the slightest bit anachronistic. Just one of many moments in Vintage Menswear that demonstrate some of the enduring elements of men's style.