I’ve been seeing this meme on Facebook, and it drives me up the wall.
The man on the left is Cary Grant. He was born in 1904. In 1917, he would’ve been 13 years old. He is older in the picture and the cut of his coat is quite generous so I would put this closer to mid-century.
The image on the left is an antique advertisement for men’s wear dated 1916. The cut of the suits became more narrow, emphasizing slender build, partially due to the demands of the war. The image on the right is 2017 Cavali runway.
I rest my case. Besides, it’s not the clothes that make a man manly. It’s his willingness to show up and carry through.
You mean the Internet lied? (gasp)
Someone was wrong on the Internet!
And it wasn’t Trump! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
I think we all get enough of Trump everywhere else. I prefer to keep the blog politics free because otherwise I’d just be banning people non stop.
Oops, sorry. You have mentioned that before. Delete my response if you’re worried it’ll start a cascade.
Theodore D. says
No, say it isn’t so!
I like some of they old styles, myself. They remind me of what my parents and grandparents used to wear in the few photos of them that I have.
Style has changed and my folks think that it hasn’t changed much for the better. *smh*
So, I first read this on my nook, I didn’t get it. Opened the links still didn’t get it. Went to my browser and now my back is against the wall.
Why were they messin with my Cary Grant. The chin, the dimple, the style, the charm . . . even in his earliest pictures he never sported that style.
Yes, the war and the need for fabric for uniforms, tents, sheets, and every damn thing caused them to use less fabric in domestic men’s fashion in 1917. What did the French say ‘the more things change the more they stay the same’ This is the formal imaging for skinny jeans. Yayyy fashion yay innovation hip hip and a hooray for the look
but I’m at the wall cause it has nothing to do with Cary, his chin, dimples, style, or charm and that’s annoying.
I love your righteous anger!
…right down to two-tone shoes.
Shannon from Florida says
I love how you do research and post facts (real ones) to back up your statements!
Agreed! We need to evaluate, analyze & assess what we see, hear & read. What are they trying to say? Are they accurate? Truthful? It’s not taught or stressed enough….
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree with you Ilona. I’ve met men in really nice suits but as I talked with them it became very clear I couldn’t get away from them fast enough. I’ve met men with break grease under their fingernails, tattoos all over the place, piercings in the ear, nose, eyebrows (basically someone you wouldn’t want to meet in a very dark alley), and I could talk with them all day.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
lol! Well said!
oh geez…so that’s what the load image thing does… ugh!
Thanks for showing us -lol. I thought it personalized you little icon, kinda like Ilona’s. Does anyone know the easy way to do it?
*your little icon
You can go up to gravatar.com and register a avatar that will work with this site or other ones that use gravatar.
Well that is a very tasteful example of men’s fashion, and you google Men’s Collection, Fall/Winter 2016-2017 season you will see some like it, but you will also see some very strange stuff. So i totally understand people who are concerned.
Gamme Bleu – For the Fall/Winter season, French-Italian brand Moncler
Prada | Fall Winter 2016/2017
Moschino Fall/Winter 2016-2017 at London Collections
Xander Zhou 2016-2017
And I think winner is Gucci Men’s FW1
What a mean thing to do to Snoopy.
Hmm… Sleep-in-Saturday Snoopy tee, Grandma Nana’s applique luncheon suite, Last summers strappy sandals, and “Where’s Waldo’s?” Fingerless gloves… together not my favorite- especially on a guy, but as seperates they could be fun to mix ‘n match with the right pieces.
Did you google those collections? because if you didn’t you missed a lot:)
Lol, gotta love how happy those model look as they walk down the runway! I think their expression say it all…
That one doesn’t have nearly the insolent pout of the suited model above. I suspect a pout is one of the generic model expression, but if he were a character, he would be such a brat, don’t you think?
But look at those beautiful cheek bones!
This reminds me of a commercial from a long time ago. I think it is one of the Super Bowls:
A guy is rushing to get on a plane and is struggling to put his bag into the overhead bin but there isn’t enough room due to him being amongst the last to board. The bag falls out of the bin, hits him on the head, and you see him next trying to tell the French speaking airport staff that he has been hit in the head and needs to see a doctor. The French show him a sheet with a series of statements in English that are translated into French. The passenger points to a sentence that says he needs a doctor but puts his finger on the statement in French above the English sentence which translates into: “I am a spy.” The French officials gasp and excitedly repeat “He is a spy!” in French. You next see the passenger sidling down the street, dressed in a stereotypical stripped jail suit, hunched over because he is carrying a ball attached to his leg irons. An American tourist couple witness this, and the husband turns to the wife and says, “I’ll never understand French fashion.”
Surprisingly I remember the commercial was for a credit card which the advertisers said the passenger could have avoided all of the pitfalls he experienced if only he had their credit card because of all the travel conveniences offered to their preferred customers. =p
But while I don’t like many of those outfits, that is only one style available for men to wear now. I think both men and women are way ahead currently in the fashion department because fashion is so much less restrictive. Ilonas point is that , a the meme is highly inaccurate. B the clothes dot make the man. The man makes the man. Or more to the point, the human makes the human.
Patricia Schlorke says
There are reasons why certain fashions died out at the time they were originally created. Why, why, why do designers now think it’s cool to bring them back?! The model with the Snoopy shirt I thought had fishnet pants on. Then I realized the fabric was a tan background with black looking netting. What did Snoopy ever do to the designer to warrant such horror?
Ms. Kim says
They should have put the picture of Cary Grant next to one of George Clooney. That would be much more apples-to-apples.
Alex R. says
Apples (golden apples from Greece kind) to apples (horse drippings kind), maybe. Please. George Clooney doesn’t hold a candle to Grant.
Alex R. says
*droppings. Darn it. What the heck?
Ms. Kim says
Just age, good looks and fashionable dressers of a similar age. I have had a crush on Cary Grant forever, but for the point of men’s fashion and where trends are going, that would be the most useful comparison.
Would like to point out that the pic on the left with men in suits had a cute scruffy looking dog. I don’t know if the models ever walk dogs on runways but would love that if they did… For me it’s all about the dog.
No, Q. Bad idea. Have you ever watched Westminster dog show finals on TV? In my personal opinion, those are for show dogs not real working dogs. Yes they are beautiful examples of the different breeds but real world working dogs are different. I think the same about runway models —male and female– and the clothes they present. I have seen TV productions with runway models and animals and I felt bad for the dogs, cats and birds who had been very well trained to be so well behaved.
I agree with Ilona Andrews and appreciate the research done to support her statements. I have family pictures done thru the years as well as family stories from members who were alive during the great depression and since. During the war era the majority of fabrics/ fabric making materials such as cotton and wool went to support war efforts and households rationed clothing. This lead to some interesting fashions as well as some thin quilts.
Debbie B. says
I think the point of the comparisons is supposed to be that the ‘fashion’ industry is kowtowing to the men not wanting to growing up, to not dress like men, but to dress like young kids. Unless males are rich & famous, they aren’t going to be considered seriously as Adults if they don’t dress like adults. Most adults look at Carry Grant and see ‘Classy’; the adults look at the ‘guy’ on the right, and see ‘juvenile’.
But the hats…
I’ve always thought of Cary Grant as the epitome of casual sophistication. That look will still turn female heads, but contrary to the ads, suit does not make the man. Like chocolates the enrobing can cover some real surprises.
You mean Forest was right – Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get.
As for Cary Grant – in my opinion he is the epitome of style, elegance and class.
Keeping that in mind I know there are a lot of men out there who are extremely glad they no longer have to wear 3 piece suits every day (including summer). Just like women were extremely glad when they stopped wearing 30 lbs of support garments.
As for the meme I guess they could not find a picture of anyone easily recognizable from 1917 so chose someone people would know and because they were in black and white thought it would suffice. Really should have done timeline research.
I agree that what makes a man is showing up!!! Nuff said!! Oh! Oops! One more thing! My daughters 22 & 24 agree wholeheartedly!!
Crystal Mobley says
For me I think it’s style and coherence. I have found men of all styles utterly gorgeous, but only if they mix and match on purpose and with…flare isn’t the right word, maybe basic aesthetics? Just don’t over do it. Cloaks and leather pants, fine, even fine together, suits always a pleasure, hell mesh and spandex can be hot, punk, grunge, classy, goth- all beautiful. But nothing sloppy, ill fitting or stained, or too tattered for going out. Casual is fine for messy work or hobbies, slouching around the house or shopping for groceries. Casual elegant is better for lunches out, dates in the daytime or to casual venues like cinemas or bowling alleys, office work and day to day business in my opinion. Elegance of whatever type for when you when to lay a whammy on someone, for either seduction, impressing, or completely intimidating someone with you’re awesomeness.
Ms. Kim says
Maybe we’re going full circle. In REgency England young men dressed just as garishly until Beau Brummel showed them the way.
Patricia Schlorke says
At one time men wore high heels along with thick hose. Hmmmm…….
Which for me will forever be the Duke of Avon from ‘These Old Shades’. He is entirely defined by that period but still somehow timeless.
mary fisher says
Yes, Georgette Heyer had many compelling characters, didn’t she? Remember “Powder and Patch” where the hero was a fashionisto. Not my favorite story, but still. Fashion is art and I enjoy it from time to time, but the disturbing thing is not outward appearances, but the tendency to be concerned with ONLY the outward appearance. I know why, of course, being human myself. It’s really, really, really hard to change on the inside. It’s much easier to change your pants and hairstyle.
Ms. Kim says
I loved the Duke of Avon!!! But talk of extreme men’s fashion – wow!
Crystal Mobley says
Of course that is purely speaking of aesthetics. What makes a man, a man is so much more about internal things. Honor, kindness,bravery,devotion, integrity are all much more important. Fairness as well. I don’t ask anymore of anyone than I do of myself. It seems to be a good rule.
I agree, C. except that I apply equally to both sexes. The outside is packaging.
I have seen the same meme, but I thought it was a commentary on the state of fashion – not masculinity. I guess my view was too narrow.
I’ve been reading it as about fashion. If it’s about masculinity… I would suck at a lot of historical expectations of femininity, and they seem culturally linked?
Fan in California says
To me what appears on the runway is not a true reflection of what people will — or will not — wear . . . male or female. Those runway collections are usually so far over the top that what finally filters down to most people is something much more low key. It dressing appropriately for the situation and, as an earlier comment said — the clothes don’t always indicate the real person underneath. As for me — thank the gods for jeans/yoga pants and tee shirts!!! ;D
Pat Sciarini says
I totally agree. Clothes don’t make the man, it’s what’s inside that counts.
I think Sean, Curran or mad rogan will still look as good in the 2017 attire
ready to read says
I know the inside of a person and their beliefs count more in the long run .
However, there is that old standby …First Impressions count… if meeting someone new try not to look
like you just jumped out of bed and grabbed your clothes out of the laundry hamper.
I live in a tourism based town that some of the 20-somethings think that wearing a wool beanie cap in the height of summer is a fashion statement… while at work inside and you can see the sweat streaming down their face. Makes me shake my head and worry they might get heat stroke soon.
I loved the fashion of Cary Grant in his old black and white movies .. oh and Orson Welles had some fashion style in his day. His voice was awesome and he could read the phone book and leave you mesmerized.
Ms. Kim says
I don’t think the young men today are as mature as the young men of the 1930s and 1940s.
It’s amazing to me when people really miss the mark in regards to history. I was in a vintage clothing store a couple of years ago and was looking at a US civil war era ladies gown that was made in 1869. Asked the sales lady if the she was sure about the date, she assured me it made that year and yes, it was made during the civil war. The store was asking for $250 for it. Told her the civil war was from 1861-1865 and the dress would have been a part of the reconstruction period. I didn’t buy the gown
That dog really needed a good stripping and groom.
Yes, M. my grooming/ shaving hand twitched but that was fashion statement in that day and time.
Silver Drallion says
Ilona, it’s true it’s not the clothes that make the man or woman, but the character, or lack thereof of the person wearing them. Thst being said, the retail clothing industry hss been circling the drain more and more rapidy the last 20 years and, as far as I’m concerned, is in the gutter. Because the photo of 2017 with the guy lookng like he was dressed in rummage sale castoffs is becoming par for the course. 1) Designers are designing clothes for bodies that dont exist. In 1945, the average model represented 90% of the population, now the average model represents less than 3%. The average woman is 5.4, weighs about 140 and C cup. 2) The designs are becoming more and more ridiculous, designing clothes out of nightmares than appropriate wear. And I wont even go into children’s wear that’s so totally inappropriate for most adults, much less kids.
While there are reasonable designers out there, the availability of clothes for average women is almost nonexistent so I get what the mene is saying. The clothes on Cary Grant were well cut, roomy, and comfortable. Classics that could be worn forever. Today, most off the rack clothing makes you look (and feel) like a clown. To small, too tight, no style. I shop at thrift stores,and remake the classics I find because they aren’t available in retail stores anymore.
And now I’m mentally replacing Rogan’s Hello Kitty t-shirt with the 2017 model’s top… : )
mary fisher says
Hellooo, remember “dandies”, “tulips”, and “macaroni”. Every age has its guys who dress like clowns in the name of fashion and being different or “exceptional”. And thank the Lord, every age also has its hard-working, no-nonsense, stand-up guys too. There is nothing new under the sun as Ecclesiastes says. God did not make us all the same and wouldn’t it be boring if He had. There’s room for many different types of men. But we want to encourage our kids to be good and true on the inside, most of all, for evil destroys lives and has a terrible payday.
Uh horrible elections in Germany.
Can I please have a snippet
I find it hard to take offense to anything involving The Little Prince. Not going to lie, I would wear that shirt.
Also, from the standpoint of an hobbiest costume designer, men are really hard to dress. Not even Alexander Mcqueen handled the challenge to perfection, and he is one of my favorites.
Also, as if women’s high fashion isn’t any less weird?
I love your commentary on what makes a man, and like you I really hate obvious blatant error. Cary’s picture is definitely more like 1954. Still, hard to see the boy from 2017 doing much besides texting his crew. Maybe that’s my bad attitude, and people do surprise me all the time. Sadly usually in the other direction.
Thank you, Ilona, you expressed two of my major problems with this meme wonderfully.
1) date error 2) false equivalency of outfit, but for me there is a third: “false equivalency of situation”.
To remedy the 3rd the creator could have found a male fashion photo of 1917(hard to find I imagine) or could have shown a 2017 photo of a man walking down the street. Here if he/she still wanted to be condemnatory, in the comparison–instead of showing a 2017 man in a suit–he/she could have shown a man in the drooping jeans/underwear exposed look that also has its share of disapproving memes. This “century of fashion” meme may be harmless overall-but it is another foot into the world of “Falsehood as Truth” that is making our world a particularly dangerous and polarizing place.