Single-breasted suit, Carr

Single-breasted suit, Carr

Single-breasted suit
Carr, Sonn & Woor (tailors)
1951
London
Woollen twill
Museum no. T.69toB-1976
Given by Mr A. MacKay

This distinctive style comprising bowler hat, fitted jacket and tapered trousers with waisted overcoat and velvet collar evolved shortly after the Second World War - in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is attributed to a group of fashion-conscious young men, some of whom were formerly officers in the Brigade of Guards. They were subsequently christened The Edwardians and were reputed to be the inspiration of the 'Teddy Boy' fashions of the 1950s. (Teddy derives from Eddy, a diminutive of Edward.)

The originators were probably influenced at first by their familiarity with the customary civilian dress for Guards officers, which consisted of a bowler hat, a double-breasted overcoat known as a 'British warm', a striped shirt with white collar and pin-stripe trousers. The traditional and conservative styling of these overcoats and trousers would have blended in quite naturally with the 'Edwardian' image. The donor to the Museum of this suit took his inspiration directly from the Edwardian period (Edward VII reigned 1901-1910) by requesting his tailor to copy a suit worn by Sir Winston Churchill in 1911 that was shown in a photograph of the time.