Readers, I am stoked about our upcoming MPB Men's Shirt Sew-Along -- so much so in fact that I am using words like stoked, which I hate.
Tomorrow I should have some exciting news about starting dates, pattern choices, and perhaps even a special discount available to MPB readers. (NOTE: Pleasing My Palate readers may be subject to a small surcharge.) Stay tuned!
I spent more time than I care to admit researching men's shirt patterns last night, and what a wild and wonderful world it is!
I said in passing yesterday that men's shirt patterns are more the same than they are different and this is true. I did uncover quite a broad range of shirt styles, however, some of which I actually remember as the fashion of the day, others from old Bing Crosby movies, and others from recurrent nightmares involving dude ranches and Spin and Marty.
And speaking of nightmares, was there ever a more ill-conceived concept than unisex? The very word conjures up memories of scary counterculture types, Haight-Ashbury, and The Big Cube (see video below).
When unisex invaded the pattern companies, well, is it any surprise the results were unfortunate?
From bad... (Togetherness? Who needs it?)
To rock-bottom hatey-Eighties (yes, his-and-hers shirt, pants, and blazer).
But I digress.
The heyday of the men's shirt pattern is the immediate postwar period when all of a sudden a generation of men had leisure and needed something to wear to it. (Luckily those days are rapidly drawing to a close.)
Adult men could now dress up like their favorite Western heroes.
Go on vacation (sometimes together).
And smoke pipes.
The peak of invention was also the beginning the end...
...as styles quickly spun out of control.
(Please rest assured there will be no Apache shirts in our sew-along and anyone wishing to make one is on their own.)
Since then, most men shirt patterns have become.... well you decide.
Oh my, how time flies!
I bought this 1939 pattern yesterday on Etsy. I'm very curious about that removable collar in the upper right corner. Cool or what?
In closing, friends, did your fathers, brothers, uncles, maiden aunts, etc., wear any of these shirt patterns? What do you think happened to the shirt pattern over the last sixty-five years and why?
Are you getting stoked about our upcoming adventures in flat-felling, topstitching, and placket pressing? Hope so!
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!