Did Henry Ford wear a suit everyday or was it just worn for photos?
Most businessmen wore suits every day back then. Workers wore bib overalls. Everyone wore a hat.
Everybody had a suit on back in those days I think, casual clothing was for bums and not for respectable folks.
If you were doing farm work - you most likely still had a tie, just not the best one
Exactly, Mike and Roger. When I first got my T, I decided to try to dress for the period and went back and looked at clothing ads and newspaper photos from the era. I was puzzled at seeing no casual clothes and eventually figured out that people didn't dress "casually" back then. I saw a photo of a fishing camp in the woods somewhere with a bunch of guys who had been fishing. All were wearing ties and the majority suit coats as well.
In 1936 or 1937, my grandparents, my great-grandmother and a neighbor drove to California to visit family and friends. They would stop along the way from time to time and take pictures. This is my grandfather (on vacation!).
That is "casual dress". Your grandfather had on a sweater. ;>) My father always wore a hat even when riding a tractor or doing other work around the ranch. I really grew to hate hats. Had to always wear one when I was young. Don't like ties either: glad I'm retired and they aren't needed any more.
Dennis, you're right. Even though it was summer, he couldn't be in just shirtsleeves outside the house. The sweater was indeed more casual than a suit coat. (By the way, the ever-present cigarette is probably why I have no memory of him without severe emphysema.)
As a child up through the age of 52 when I retired from IBM I never wore a hat. We moved to a farm in Missouri after retirement and I learned to wear a baseball cap to protect my eyes while working in the field. Should have been wearing one like the guys in the pictures my dermatologist tells me now. I still wear a hat when out in the sun here in Arizona. I actually did wear a hat for three years while in the Navy from 1957 to 1960. In the Navy we were taught to remove our cover when indoors and I wonder about the hayseeds that I see in the restaurants here with their baseball caps on.
I regret that hats went out of style. By 63 they were pretty much out.
I'm thinking of starting a "Bring back the Fedora" club.
As a young kid in grammar school in the '40's, we (us boys) were taught to always, always, ALWAYS take your hat off IMMEDIATELY upon entering the school, as it was a public building!
And John Cox,....those same "hayseeds" you spoke of are some of the same low-lifes that have to be reminded to take their hats off during the nowadays, rare instances at events where the National Anthem is played or sung! (And some of 'em STILL don't "get it"!)
To bring this back a bit closer to Ted's original topic, have you ever noticed how all men, even the hardest working laborers of all crafts, always, always,...ALWAYS buttoned even the top button on their work shirts? Some of those old photos almost look like that top button almost chokes them!
Now they are covered up by huddies with pants on the ground. I never wore a hat until a few years ago when I had some Melanoma removed.
Interestingly, my dad owned a furniture factory. He wore an old suit down to work and changed into "work clothes" which was really old suit trousers and a worn white shirt. He wore those while working on the machines, but when he came home, the suit again. My uncle was in Real Estate business in Los Angeles and he worked all day in a suit, but when he came home, he wore casual clothes. When we went to visit my Aunt and Uncle, dad always wore a suit and tie, but my uncle was casual. I am going to attach a picture taken in Griffith Park 1943. You will see how people dressed for a picnic in the park! I am the tallest boy in the front row. The man in the navy uniform is a cousin who had just come home from boot camp during WWII. The picnic was in his honor.
About two years ago I bought a straw boater hat. I has always wanted one. My wife told me I would look like an idiot with it. Well I wore it to the wedding of a close friends son and you could not believe how many women can up to me and said how handsome and cool I looked in it.
If I live long enough to be a grumpy old fart, I have already decided which one I will be. I will be the one who slaps the hats off the morons who wear them indoors. Our town is frequented by fly "fishermen" who try to impress by wearing the most expensive fishing hat they can find. And they wear them while setting at the local eatery. There are hat hooks at all of the booths. Grrrrrrrr.
It will come as no surprise to most that men's styles changed both by time period and by class. Early in the century men's attire was more formal in general. Here (about 1921) my farmer/blacksmith uncle is wearing a tie.
By the forties things were less formal. I guess our family would be classified as lower middle class. My dad was a stillman in a refinery, and I never saw him in a suit and tie except when Mom dragged him to church. In reading the Dick and Jane books I noted that Father wore a business suit on a picnic, and painted the window frames wearing slacks and a sweater and a tie. Dick and Jane's family struck me as a deeply weird bunch of folks.
The formality that prevailed in the nineteenth century is exemplified in the extreme by one of my mom's uncles who wore a suit under his overalls while working out in the fields. If he saw somebody coming down the road he would take off the overalls so they'd see him in his good clothes.
I must say that I don't let the latest style determine my clothing choices and I seldom go outside without a hat. I have several styles and types and I don't wear them indoors. I also regularly wear a vest or waistcoat to go along with the pocket watch that I am using that day.
I remember visiting a friend in England who owned a small country Pub. He was having some work done in it and the painters were in overalls but they all wore ties.
Jay, don't be so wordy.....
There are folks in this hobby that like to dress up in period clothes for tours, but for me I like a pair of Levis and a T shirt!
Dick, That was a picture of the Emperors new clothes.
Here's one of Henry Posing in a suit.
Period clothes with plenty of pockets suit me.
I still have a couple of my grandfather's hats and suit's but I won't wear the hats, I think if you could wring out the hatbands there would still be 2 0r 3 tubes of Brylcreme (A little dab will do ya!) in there
Lillian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who ... books) had it pegged as two kinds of restaurants: Hats On and Hats Off. Your diner was possibly a hats on and the fine dining was definitely hats off.
Gotta go with Steve on this one. Bib overalls are perfect for working on Ts. A couple spare spark plugs in one pocket, a few wrenches in another, nuts and bolts in your right pocket, a screwdriver in your left... Hard to go wrong with that!
Until you forget about the screwdriver and sit down in the newly-upholstered front seat!
A couple of the "Reminisces", reports by people who knew and or worked for Henry Ford mentioned that HF always wore a suit at work, but that he didn't hesitate to jump in to operate a machine or turn a wrench.
In all the racing photos I've seen of Ford he is always wearing a coat and tie:
And, how about one with Henry Ford wearing a Derby..... and smoking a cigar?
The Church I grew up going to (built in 1902) had a button you push that opened a clamp on the back of each pew. It was for holding Mens Hats.
Most men just set there hats in the window sills.
I look Goo-ood in a proper suit, tie, vest, and hat!
I remember as a child in rural South Carolina, many of the men wore their best overalls to church, but, they still had a tie on and a fedora.
Wait a minute there, Wayne---you look good????
Heh heh heh--I just couldn't resist!!!
If you think about it, back in the real old days getting a picture taken was a special event, that could be why you might see ties. While a gentlemen farmers/city person may have worn a tie all the time I don't think a real farmer would have. I would have to review some of the photos posted of Ford factory worker but I don't recall seeing a lot of ties on the floor workers, supervisors maybe.
I do remember back in the 60's as a kid in school having to button my shirt all the way up and could not wait to unbutton that top button.
Here is a picture of two of my uncles on a hike 5 miles from the nearest road, about 1916. Wearing ties but not coats.
This is my Grandfather on the left and my Great Uncle on the right sometime in the 1920's
Grandfather was a farmer and a gentleman but was not a gentleman farmer.
Men who wear hats inside of buildings irritate me to no end. I was taught early on, by many of my elders and the nuns that taught us in grade school that 'Gentlemen DO NOT wear any type of hat into any building.' I always put my hat on the window sill as we walk into church, along with many of the other old fellows who attend.
Not all of us learned about this at an early age, but all of us who were in the Service learned about it for sure. We were taught in no uncertain terms that we would remove our "cover" when going into a building and replace it on the way out. I automatically do that now when passing through an exterior doorway, as do most of you here. The mandatory draft was eliminated in the 70's (I think), so lots of younger folks never got that "education."
Ya, Mike "lots of younger folks never got that ""education"", but lots of them really need it!
Keith (US Army, 1960 to 1963)
It's a little know fact nowadays but bib overalls are about the most comfortable trowsers a man(or a woman) could wear. I get some strange looks here in NJ but I love to wear them to work....