The Return of Classic American Style

It wasn’t that long ago that taste makers the world over heralded the return of classic American style. It started slowly, with basic shapes appearing and reappearing in both men’s and women’s clothing. There were hints and flares of 60s-inspired silhouettes in women’s wear — long gloves and three-quarter length coats came back, then the pencil skirt (which never really went out of style) experienced a small explosion.

And where stylish women went, stylish men were sure to follow. Lapels slimmed down, ties went on diets, pant hems were cut short or rolled up to expose the ankles. Designers like Thom Browne and Michael Bastian became household providing slicked back, pared down versions of the clothes we admired from time gone by.

When cardigans, shift dresses, Wayfarers and the like returned triumphantly to the market, everyone hauled out their credit cards and rushed off to the new storefronts — J.Crew‘s re-purposed liquor store, maybe, or John Varvatos‘s new store in the old CBGB. And slowly but surely, everyone’s pants started to get a little closer to their legs.

American fashion got huge. The Council of Fashion Designers of America even published a book on the history of American style in 2007, at the very crest of the style’s popularity. It’s called (what else?) American Fashion.

There are a variety of reasons for the new focus on Americana. Perhaps the global economic downturn scared people back into tried-and-true clothing that they knew would never go out of style. Maybe a barrage of new technology made us wish for kinder, simpler style of clothing. Maybe crazy prints didn’t look good with our Filson briefcases and Coach totes.

But the significance of such a comeback is meaningful to people inside and outside the fashion industry. Classic American style came back at a time when America didn’t have a very enviable standing in the world, but labels and designers worldwide co-opted the movement enthusiastically. Everything the world missed about America’s awesomeness was embodied by American clothing: a commitment to hard work and amazing craftsmanship — to say nothing of our impeccable good taste.

So today, on the anniversary of the birth of America, let’s raise our hats to the rebirth of American style, and let’s keep the Americana revolution going. You don’t have to wear an Old Navy flag tee when you watch the fireworks display — in fact, we’d prefer if you didn’t. But in honor of the impact American clothing has had all over the world, put on something made by an American designer. It’s the easiest way to show your patriotism. And we know you’ve got something that fits the bill in your closet, because this stuff has been all over the place.

[Image via Amazon]

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