With the end of World War II, American men strayed from the high standards and basic principles of fine dress established in the thirties. Part of this was changes in the workforce and the loss of formality in everyday life. With lower demand, the price of custom tailoring rose, which allowed for the mass production of menswear to takeover as the everyday norm. This period saw the introduction of mass produced ready-to-wear custom clothing in America, by some brands that are still selling us clothing today.
There were positives and negatives to these new methods of mass production. On the one hand, basic clothing was cheaper and more accessible than ever. On the other hand, there was less variety in the styles being offered, and, much worse, these major clothing manufacturers realized (just like the automobile manufacturers) that they could stimulate sales by offering changes in styles every year, or even every season. This began the “trend cycle” in retail, which was created by clothing manufacturers to make more money and propagated by the magazine industry, also to make more money.
Ultimately this marketing strategy pushed the consumer further and further away from the “ideals of classical dress” established in the 1930s, which were all about choosing long-term pieces that best flatter the body. Instead the goal of clothiers became to confuse and pressure the consumer to continually “re-invent himself” by purchasing “new styles” that are “in fashion”. More sales, regardless of the longevity or aesthetic of the look.