Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2014
In what was a golden age of British advertising, the notion of the 'peacock male' was a strong theme in fashion promotion, reflecting a new affluence and the emergence of stylish youth cultures. Based on a detailed study of rich archival material, this pioneering study examines the production, circulation and consumption of print, television and cinema publicity for men's clothing in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century.
The study explores design issues and period style in advertising, the role of market research and consumer psychology in determining target audiences, the idea of the 'new man' in representing fashionable masculinities, and the various ways that menswear retailers and brands dealt with sex and gender, race, class and age.
From y-fronts to Austin Reed suits to Levi's jeans, menswear advertising epitomised the themes, stereotypes, contradictions and ambiguities of masculinity in an age of great social change. This meticulously researched and detailed work of scholarship will be essential reading for students and scholars of fashion, history, sociology, advertising, media, cultural and gender studies.
Paul Jobling is Researcher in Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton, UK. He is the author of Man Appeal (Berg, 2005).
INTRODUCTION PART ONE Going for a Burton: menswear advertising from austerity to affluence, 1945-1957 Introduction 1.0: The post-war market for men's clothing 2.0: Menswear advertising: agents, accounts and audiences: `Will it be seen? Will it be remembered?' Will it be "accepted"?' 3.0: The economics of press advertising 4.0: The design and rhetoric of menswear press advertisements 5.0: The art versus commerce debate 6.0: Poster publicity and menswear 7.0: Early commercial television and menswear, 1955-1960 8.0: The impact of consumer psychology and motivation research 9.0: `Feeling with' and `feeling into': appealing to men and women 10.0: The turn to new consumers and youth culture PART TWO Thinking young: menswear advertising and the generation games, 1958-1978 Introduction 1.0: Sedimenting the youth market 2.0: Cinema and television advertising 3.0: Menswear advertising in newspapers and magazines 4.0: Poster publicity and menswear 5.0: `You bring the body, we've got the clothes': publicity for tailors 6.0: From dummies to dandies 7.0: Ironing out the creases: artificial fibres and menswear advertising 8.0: Synthesising sex: the utopian and ludic valorization of artificial and natural fibres 9.0: `Cloth for Men': wool and he whisper of darker things 10.0: Looking good, feeling good 11.0: The changing of the guard PART THREE Leader of the pack: jeans advertising since the 1960s Introduction 1.0: The Jeans market and advertising between 1950-1985 2.0: Levi's 501: back to the future 3.0: Here comes the new man - again 4.0: A soundtrack for consumerism: music, image and myth 5.0: More than just a number 6.0: Racial sameness and racial difference 7.0: From `Mothers' to `Flat Eric' EPILOGUE Getting the Right Fit - Objects/Images/Readers Bibliography Index