Already 50,000 years ago, our ancient Homo sapiens used everything around them to protect themselves from the harsh climate. Anthropologists have unearthed human fossils from the Arctic Circle and seen evidence of men’s clothing made from animal skins and fur. In retrospect, in regions where the temperature was much warmer, evidence of men’s clothing made primarily of leaves and grass was discovered. These were used to protect early man from dust and heat. At that time, menswear was nothing more than an ingenious invention born of necessity.

However, as the centuries passed, men’s clothing took on a new meaning: it became a signature of social status. Emperors and kings wore ornaments made of gold and rare jewels; the nobles wore hats, while the peasants adorned themselves with shells and plain colored garments.

Many decades later, man found the means to bridge the geographical gap with his neighbors. As a consequence, men’s clothing became as diverse as the cultures of this world. Chinese men wore court dresses; the Scots wore tartans and kilts, the Filipinos were seen in their barongs that were woven from pineapple fiber. Due to this diversity, trends emerged and fashion as an institution was born. Designers and fashion magazines fanned the flames of what was essential and what was frowned upon in menswear. Men were measured by how wrinkled their pants were, how long their tie was, whether their belt matched their loafers. Fundamental rules and classifications emerged that became codes by which modern man lived. For example, brown belts should never go with black shoes. This was applied in all cultures that required shoes and belts in formal functions.

In the midst of this celebration of diversity, the concept of haute couture emerged. Surprisingly, this gave menswear the tool for individual distinction. A separation from the rest not dictated by social status, but by preferences. In fact, having clothes specially designed and made for oneself emphasized one’s uniqueness.

Men’s clothing has become a form of expression.

The way a man viewed himself was ultimately reflected in the way he dressed. Every day there was a huge costume party showcasing men’s clothing and its 50,000 year history, give and take.

As life became increasingly fast-paced, a new element was soon incorporated into men’s clothing: comfort. Looking good became just as important as feeling good. Modern lifestyles required clothing that did not require special cleaning and tedious care.

In response to this need and as a consequence of capitalism and trade, technology nurtured the discoveries and inventions of fabrics and clothing methods. Nylon, polyester, and lycra are just a few of the synthetics that have replaced natural fibers. Conventional menswear was reflected in sportswear that breathed like skin, smart office wear that repelled water, and shoes that complemented the contours of the foot rather than the other way around. Men’s clothing in retail grew.

In the transition between haute couture and retail, constants were defined. These staples are just as essential to menswear today as they were when they were first created.


At formal and business functions, the suit has gained prominence as the most appropriate outfit in the menswear group. A man can never go wrong showing up in a suit.

the blue jeans

Levi’s, Mossimo and Lee are just a few of the brands that have paved the way for what jeans are now and how they should be worn: deconstructed, faded or acid washed. From a worker essential to a casual staple, jeans have secured their place as a menswear icon.

the cross trainer

Nike and Adidas have dominated the market with always revolutionary shoes that conquer even the most demanding terrains and the most rigorous training programs. These shoes are not an afterthought in men’s clothing, rather they are the first thought of and by which all other fitness clothing follows.

The T-shirt

T-shirts were originally underwear worn by workers. A classic example of metamorphosis in garment use, at the end of the First World War, it became a permanent trend for casual clothing.

In the years to come, fashion will continue to evolve and continue to be influenced by emerging technologies, trends and necessity, but utility and design will always be key elements in menswear. The marriage of form and function in men’s clothing will never be divorced.

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