Men's Fashion Revival? The Plus Fours

I was delving through my wardrobe the other morning and was feeling, ‘let’s say’ less than inspired. Although men’s fashion for this season has been given the step up, it’s still difficult to buy high-end, less mainstream threads without spending an arm ‘n’ a leg. Because the majority of men do not want to let go of the standard jeans and T-shirt combination, a lot of high street stores aren’t buying the more avant-garde garments.

Due to this predicament I decided to check out the vintage scene again. However, I’m past the idea that ‘just because its 50 years old it looks cool’.

After 2 hours of intricately rummaging; through moth balled furs, bat-winged, Hi-Tech jackets and flamboyantly tattered flairs, I found myself a pair of black tweed plus fours. A little bit dusty round the edges but gorgeous none-the-less.

Ok they’re two sizes to big, but, I think that will add to the look once I’ve altered them. My plan is to take just the waist band in, leaving the upper legs and crotch parachute-y and bellowing. Like a classic pair of drop crotch shorts.

I have always been a huge fan of that beautiful, 18th century, golfing attire. I also see this punky, Sherlock Holmes look coming in for AW10, as a darker version of that Regency romance.

What Are Plus Fours?

Plus fours (also known as Knickerbockers), were boy’s baggy knee trousers popular in the 18th century. Until the First World War boys wore shorts in the summer and knickerbockers or plus fours in the winter, until they hit puberty and graduated to long trousers. ‘I’d rather stay in the plus fours if you ask me’. In the early 19th century, plus fours were worn as part of sports attire. Which is where that great tweed and watch tartan golfing dress originated from. History lesson over.

When I bought my plus fours I didn’t actually think about how fashion forward they were, in a non mainstream way. With the twisted, country look (that I for one am incredibly excited about) coming in for next season, I think plus fours and 3/4 length suit trousers are a fantastic way to bring the punkoutry, look into this summer. Maybe teaming them with a tweed waistcoat and printed T – so you don’t look completely like a chimney sweep!

A look that I’m planning on breaking out closer to the autumn is plus fours with hunting socks and big, elaborate, bow tied neckerchiefs. An image Inspired by the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Fashion and outfit inspiration is all around us in this world, you just need to take notice.

Calf hugging, British eccentricity is definitely the way forward for this spring/summer. Let’s not leave this beautiful piece of fashion history on the derrieres of unconventional, country club golfers or the dusty floors of vintage shops.

If there’s ever going to be a time to revive plus fours it’s definitely the season to do so. Yay!

Big Love,
Jacob Kamara