During the days of prehistory, men’s fashion was limited to what was available from its immediate environment. As we settled into villages and cities, new forms of attire emerged. Animals were herded and domesticated. We no longer had to rely solely on hunting to obtain animal hides.
As cities and civilisations came into being, men’s options greatly expanded. Due to the vast array of choices, men became more selective based on the animals they bred and what they were able to trade.
Leaders took charge of their community and kept the very best for themselves and those in their inner circle. Through this process, style was born. Leaders and their wives became identified by a certain sartorial style. As fortune and position became a norm for the elite, attire made it easy to distinguish a worker from a leader.
The common man wore what he could either acquire or make. It was not uncommon for clothes and footwear to be made at home. Members of the royalty and those who served them would wear clothing made from the finest materials available. These were crafted by the master artisan. One could now easily discern a man’s rank and status by his attire.
Historically, much of popular style was influenced by kings. It was then imitated by his subjects. In popular memory, the king was a man who could have anything he wanted in the world. Like today’s entertainers–musicians, actors, models and celebrities–kings were admired. Their styles were imitated as the ultimate form of flattery.
Men’s style has continued to evolve. However, one thing is certain. In the world of fashion, trends come and go. Many of them develop into newer trends that take aspects of the past and reinvent them for the future. However, they are all temporary.
We no longer dress as the pharaohs once did. Or perhaps we still do.