Simple Guide to Achieving Great Gatsby Style for Modern Gentlemen

Table Contents

Male Simple Gatsby Attire


The Gatsby era of the 1920s conjures images of flapper dresses, diamonds, feathers, and excess. However, men's fashion at this time, though more understated, is equally as interesting. Men's attire centered around classic suiting often with small added embellishments hinting at the elaborate women's looks.

Simple yet tailored menswear lets the quality of the garments and fit do the talking. As male fashion moves towards more casual and comfortable clothing, looking back at the sharp, refined looks of the 1920s Gatsby era serves as inspiration for how to dress up casually without losing sophistication.

Overview of Key Elements

Male Gatsby style is characterized by:

  • Tailored suiting: well-fitted 3-piece suits often in neutral tones
  • Lighter fabrics: lightweight wools, linens, silks
  • Casual formalwear: relaxed suits for daywear as well as white tie
  • Sparse patterns and textures: faint pinstripes, herringbones
  • Pocket squares: mostly white, adds a subtle accent
  • Hats: straw boaters, felt fedoras, flat caps

This article will explore the details behind crafting simple yet polished Gatsby attire for men.

The foundations: Suits

Suits, the backbone of 1920s menswear, shifted from rigid Victorian styles to looser lightweight constructions allowing freedom of movement. Suits took on a relaxed demeanor but did not lose any sophistication.

Common suit styles include:

  • Three-piece suits
    • Featured matching vest to complete the look
  • Double breasted suits
    • Six front buttons, wider peak lapels
  • Single breasted suit
    • Two-three front buttons, notched lapels

Fabrics and Colors

Lightweight wools, tropical linens, and silks were favored over heavy wools. These fabrics kept men cool in the summer heat.

Neutrals like navy, gray, brown, and tan dominated, though stripes and faint patterns emerged. Popular options:

  • Herringbone wool
  • Pinstripes
  • Seersucker cotton

Cut and Fit

Though more relaxed than previous decades, precise tailoring and attention to cut were still important in creating the desired Gatsby silhouette:

  • Shoulders: Natural, sloping shape
  • Chest: Close fit vs overly-boxy Victorian styles
  • Waist: Nipped-in but not too tight
  • Length: Shorter, hitting just below the hips at natural waistline
  • Legs: Straight, looser cut with medium/no break at shoes

Getting the right fit was essential to avoid looking boxy, sloppy, or overdone.

Dress Shirts

Crisp dress shirts were typically white or off-white with long sleevesand a detachable collar. Popular collar styles:

Collar Styles

  • Club collar: Rounded edges, pinned or worn with a tie
  • Wingtip collar: Small pointed collar wings
  • Tab collar: Collar closed with a button tab at the center

These crisp collars contrasted against the relaxed suiting for an elegant finish.


Subtle accessories introduced personality.

Pocket squares mainly in white linen or silk added texture and interest. Patterns and colors emerged later in the decade.

Various hat styles were key:

Hat Styles

  • Straw boater hat
    • Popular for summer activities
  • Felt fedora
    • Versatile for dress or casual wear
  • Newsboy flat cap
    • Casual everyday hat

Along with the above essentials, leather boots or two-tone spectator Oxfords finished the polished look.

The "simple" effect

The magic of Gatsby style lies in its restraint. Quality fabrics, strict tailoring and minimal accents come together for a polished yet understated look.

By avoiding overly bright colors, loud patterns, and unnecessary embellishments, the style stands out while retaining an air of mystery and refinement.

This leaves room for small personal expressions - a colored pocket square, patterned tie, or textured hat. These subtle pops of personality enable the wearer to shape the look to his individual liking within the confines of 1920s elegance.

Gatsby-Inspired Looks Today

The 2010s-2020s have centered heavily around casual dressing and comfort. Athleisure, oversized streetwear, and normcore looks dominate menswear.

Certain aspects of these modern looks contradict the principles of 1920s style: neutral colors, tailored lines, lightweight breathable fabrics, dress shoes.

However, the emphasis on wearing clothing that enables ease of movement and flexible wearing align well with Gatsby concepts.

Blending inspiration from both eras results in Gatsby-inspired casual looks with simple yet refined elements:

  • Muted color palettes
  • Minimal, muted patterns like faint stripes
  • Crisp polo shirts instead of t-shirts
  • Light jacketsand knits instead of heavy outerwear
  • Canvas sneakers or loafers instead of athletic shoes

These looks retain a put-together sensibility while losing formality.

The key is blending simplistic modern pieces with elements echoing the distinction of 1920s style like light blazersfine knits, loafers and hats.

Neutral colors, minimal detailing, and high-quality fabrics keep the look refined. By creatively mixing these aspects, contemporary Gatsby style emerges, perfect for modern men.


Looking back at the Prohibition-era style provides inspiration for reinventing sartorial sophistication today. The principles behind the relaxed tailoring, muted color schemes, and focused details apply nicely to modern casual dress.

By studying the foundational elements of 1920s menswear and applying aspects such as lighter fabrics, looser silhouettes, and subtle personal flourishes to everyday looks, contemporary Gatsby-inspired style comes together.

This allows modern men to retain ease and comfort while upholding the iconic distinction of the steamy Jazz Age.


  1. What are the key elements of Great Gatsby style for men? Some signature Gatsby elements include vintage-inspired suits, wingtip shoes, high-waisted and cuffed pants, patterned and bold-collared shirts paired with accessories like suspenders, boater hats, and pocket squares.

  2. What is simple Gatsby attire? Focusing on one or two statement pieces with otherwise neutral garments achieves refined minimalistic Gatsby style that isn't overdone. Strategically adding bold shoes, hats, shirts or accessories allows history-echoing embellishments to take center stage.

  3. How do you make Gatsby style suitable for everyday wear? Balance traditional suits with relaxed modern pieces. Swap dress shoes for trendy loafers, combine an Oxford shirtwith jeans and suspenders, or layer a knit sweatervest over a button-down. Adding small flourishes like printed pocket squares, collar bars, or patterned socks makes Gatsby style wearable in casual settings.

  4. What Gatsby pieces work for business casual office attire? Infusing professional wear with vintage gala flair via colored bow ties, French cuff shirts striped or patterned pocket squares, spectator shoes, and suspenders makes business attire bolder. These subtle throwback accents display personality while maintaining appropriateness.

  5. How can men achieve date night Gatsby style? Crisp button-downs with cufflinks and collar bars pair dashingly with high-waisted pleated trousers, two-tone Oxfords, and a bold houndstooth sport coat. These snazzy embellishments showcase refined taste for special occasions without appearing overdressed. Suede loafers and a pocket watch chain across a vest strike a classy retro vibe.