This dissertation links the change in men's clothing over the last century to large currents in twentieth-century history: the rise of consumerism, the transformation of American business, and the emergence of modernist aesthetics. Each chapter focuses upon a key node in the economic chain from raw material to personal effect that collectively resulted in Los Angeles surging from obscurity to become the world's second-largest garment production center. The first chapter details the marketing innovations of California menswear manufacturers, who pioneered qlifestyle marketingq for men. The second chapter demonstrates that the rise of suburban, automobile-oriented shopping, modernist store-design, and a new openness toward consumers were linked explicitly with California sportswear. The third chapter considers the design of the clothing itself, arguing that casual clothing designers' appropriation of working class and ethnic styles were in the service of a new modernist sartorial ideal. The final chapter connects these novel business practices and aesthetic transformations to changing notions of masculinity in mass culture and in everyday life. The result was a new vernacular style. California casual garments were the clothes of modern life.During aquot;softaquot; leisure time, men could perform aquot;hardnessaquot; by referencing manual labor and the rough-and-tumble frontier.85 In an age when middle-class institutions like consumption and suburbia threatened onea#39;s masculinity and theanbsp;...
|Title||:||Dressing Down: Modernism, Masculinity, and the Men's Leisurewear Industry in California, 1930--1960|
|Author||:||William Ramsey Scott|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2007|