Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Fashionable Gentleman's Dress Code in 1903

A man wearing a bowler hat, jacket and pin-stripe trousers, holding a box camera. c1900 Getty Images
Ever wonder what the well-dressed gentleman was wearing 110 years ago? Well here is a glimpse that is afforded by this "dress chart" from the famous McInerny Clothiers of Honolulu in November of 1903. I remember McInerny department store from when as a boy living in Hawaii back in the 1950s. It was one of the top stores for clothes at the time ... right up there with Liberty House and Andrade. If you bought something ... or were given a gift from McInerney, it was a real treasure.

Dress Chart for Men 1903 (Click on image for a larger version)
Through much of the first half of the 20th century, McInerny and Liberty House were Honolulu's big downtown department stores, the places to shop for that pair of fancy dress shoes or that one durable blue suit for trips to the Mainland. McInerny moved quickly to capture the booming tourist market after World War II and began its expansion into Waikiki by opening small shops that offered swimwear, aloha wear and casual jewelry to visitors. From the 1950s through the mid-1970s, McInerny served the two markets, local and tourist, but globalization and the collapse of the Japanese tourist business lead the store to announce its closing in 2002 after 145 years in business.

McInerny Envelope from 1878.
McInerny's Flagship Store at Fort and Merchant Streets in Honolulu c1950
McInerny Shirt Label from the 1970s
One of the McInerny Boutique Shops in Waikiki (Early 1950s)
A while back we posted an article about Victorian men's fashions. Read it here.

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