Looking good for the job and or interview, has been a way for decades. After the war, during the 50’s, jobs were shifting. No longer was it a work a day job, rather it was becoming a formal job, in offices and clerks in nice department stores. Serving the public, lots of employers were asking that their workers dress up for the job.
Clothes manufacturers began to pander to this vanity in men when they advertised their clothing. Wearing nice shoes became just as important as having a dress shirt where the collar behaved. A starched cotton collar has a tendency to curl up at the points after the top button is hooked. All types of gadgets were tried to keep the collar in place. Collar stays of all types were made for that distinctive look a man would want.
Upscale shirt manufacturers began putting a small plastic tab in the points of the collar to hold it in place when a tie was worn. This tiny piece of plastic caught the attention of the man who had the starched shirt and tie. Here was a way the working man could look nice and keep things in their place with little effort.
Working in a department store, what the store clerk was wearing would impact the choice of the customer the clerk was helping. Like today, image is very important with customers. During the 50’s the work force was predominately male. Most women left their war jobs and married their homeys to raise a family. The husband was the primary bread winner and the woman stayed at home taking care of the family.
The fabric of American society during the 50’s had their ideals, just like every generation has their way of wanting to live.
Clothing makes the man, as the saying went. Clothing does create an image and for many was it comfortable? Footwear became just as important to being comfortable. Large shoe manufacturers, advertised style as much as they did comfort, even the manufacturers of soles for shoes advertised their wares. The shoe cobbler was still in business back then and repairing shoes was more common then replacing them.
In choosing clothes, vanity so often overruled, being practical. When the garment manufacturer could satisfy both vanity and practical, they had a winner.