Man's Suit: Jacket and Trousers

Designed by Bill Blass, American, 1922 - 2002. Made by Pincus Brothers Maxwell, Philadelphia, 1911 - 2004.

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
1970

Medium:
Patterned double-knit wool and polyester

Dimensions:
Jacket Center Back Length: 31 inches (78.7 cm) Trousers: 32 x 32 inches (81.3 x 81.3 cm)

Copyright:

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1973-59-4a,b

Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas Neil Crater, 1973

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Label:
As menswear became a fashion commodity in the 1960s, designers of women's fashions began to venture into men's clothing. One of the first major American designers to do so was Bill Blass, who produced a men's line for the Philadelphia firm of Pincus Brothers Maxwell in 1967, and won the first Coty menswear award the following year. Blass's sophisticated suit retains the traditional form—albeit with modish wide lapels and trouser cuffs—but the wildly patterned Italian double-knit makes it refreshingly novel.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Menswear, long the conservative preserve of tailors and manufacturers, became a fashion commodity in the late 1960s. Bill Blass, known for his clothes for women that incorporated aspects of men's tailoring, was one of the first major American designers to offer a line of men's fashions, beginning in 1967; he was awarded the first Coty Menswear Award in 1968. His designs are the essence of urbane sophistication, reflecting the latest trends without slavishly aping them. Produced by the Philadelphia firm of Pincus Brothers Maxwell, this suit was given to the Museum by Tom Crater, then associated with the John Wanamaker department store, which had helped launch Blass's collection. Here the traditional form of a man's suit has been retained, albeit with modish wide lapels and trouser cuffs, but the fabric, a wildly patterned Italian double-knit polyester, makes a refreshingly novel statement. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 101.