Fedora and Gangster Suits: 1920s American Prohibition Style

A Roaring Introduction

Picture this scene: A dimly-lit speakeasy, filled with well-dressed men and women draped in pearls and feathers, sipping on illegal liquor whilst a smooth jazz tune plays in the background. This, my friends, is the epitome of the 1920s American Prohibition era - a time when the government's attempt to regulate alcohol consumption only served to fuel the fires of underground, alcohol-fueled parties and create a thriving subculture of gangsters and flappers. And at the very heart of this fascinating time period in history is the fashion - the fedoras and gangster suits that defined the roaring '20s and all its stylish debauchery.

The Birth of the Fedora

Originating from the Greek word 'theodoros," meaning "gift of God," the fedora was not initially a symbol of gangsterdom. Instead, it was a fashionable accessory for both men and women - worn first by a woman in the 1882 play 'Fedora" by Victorien Sardou. The fedora quickly gained popularity and became a staple of the early 20th century wardrobe. It wasn't until the 1920s, however, that the fedora took on a whole new level of notoriety and swagger.

When Mobsters Met Fedoras

  • Enter the gangster: In a world of illicit booze and organized crime, the fedora became the headgear of choice for the most notorious mobsters of the era. Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Bugsy Siegel all donned these stylish hats, cementing their status as symbols of power and authority.
  • Why the fedora? In a time when men's fashion was all about formality, the fedora provided a perfect balance between respectability and rakishness. The wide brim and tilted angle gave the wearer a sense of mystery and allure, while the structured crown communicated authority and sophistication.
  • And let's not forget the practicality: Fedoras also served as a convenient way to conceal one's identity, making them perfect for a world of crime and secrecy. Plus, they offered some protection from the elements - because even mobsters can't escape the rain.

1920s Gangster Suits: Dressing for Success (and Intimidation)

Now that we've established the importance of the fedora, let's talk about the gangster suit: the uniform of choice for the dapper criminals of the 1920s. These suits were all about making a statement, and the key to a good gangster suit was a combination of luxurious fabrics, bold patterns, and sharp tailoring.
  • Materials: In a time when prohibition was driving up the prices of alcohol, gangsters had plenty of cash to splash on high-quality fabrics. Suits made from materials like silk, wool, and cotton were the order of the day, with a preference for pinstripes and houndstooth patterns to convey a sense of wealth and power.
  • Fit: Gangster suits were all about making an impact, and a well-fitting suit was crucial to achieving this effect. The jackets were typically double-breasted and cut long, while the trousers were wide-legged and high-waisted. This combination created an imposing silhouette, perfect for asserting one's dominance in the criminal underworld.
  • Accessories: No gangster outfit would be complete without a few carefully chosen accessories. A colorful silk tie, a crisp white pocket square, and a pair of fine leather shoes were all essential elements of the gangster wardrobe. And let's not forget the ever-present fedora, perched jauntily atop the mobster's head.

Prohibition Style: A Lasting Legacy

While the era of Prohibition came to an end in 1933 with the ratification of the 21st Amendment, the influence of the 1920s gangster style can still be felt today. Fedoras and gangster suits may no longer be the uniform of choice for criminal masterminds, but their impact on fashion is undeniable. From the resurgence of the fedora in the 1940s and '50s, to the popularity of the pinstripe suit in the 1980s, the glamour and grit of the Prohibition era has continued to captivate and inspire.

Embodying the Prohibition Style Today: A Guide to Dapper Domination

Feeling inspired to incorporate some 1920s American Prohibition style into your own wardrobe? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
  • Invest in a quality fedora: Look for a hat made from a high-quality material like wool or felt, with a structured crown and a wide brim. The key is to find the right balance between floppiness and rigidity - the ideal fedora should be able to maintain its shape without looking too stiff.
  • Choose bold patterns: Whether it's a pinstripe suit or a houndstooth jacket, the key to capturing the gangster aesthetic is to go big and bold with your patterns. Just be careful not to overdo it - a little pattern goes a long way.
  • Embrace the wide-legged trouser: While slim-fit trousers may be the modern standard, the wide-legged, high-waisted pant is a key component of the 1920s gangster style. Pair with braces for an authentic look.
  • Accessorize wisely: A silk tie, a pocket square, and a pair of fine leather shoes are all you need to complete your gangster-inspired ensemble. Remember, the devil is in the details!
Now go forth, and conquer the world with your newfound knowledge of fedoras and gangster suits. Just remember to keep it stylish, and stay on the right side of the law!

Article kindly provided by foreverinfashion.org