Man's Two-Piece Suit

The donor purchased this navy-blue wool double-breasted two-piece suit on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in early 1945. He wore it for his 1945 high school class picture and graduation ceremony in Los Angeles, California. He continued to wear the suit until he entered the navy in July of 1945. The May 1945 issue of Esquire magazine featured a similar suit, claiming that jackets with buttons set low were accepted by men conscious of the subtleties of fashion. They also noted that a double-breasted jacket with low buttons and long lapels accentuated the height of the wearer.
While not every man owned a suit in pre-Civil War America, the development of the ready-to-wear industry in the United States made the purchase of a suit possible for most men by the end of the 19th century. The availability of ready-made suits at a reasonable price was helped by the shift from the more formal frock coat and trousers of the 19th century to the more relaxed fit of the sack coat. It is the sack suit or lounge suit, a business suit made of wool with a loose fitting single or double-breasted jacket that dominated men's fashion throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.
Currently not on view
Object Name
suit, 2 piece
Date made
Morgan, Jr., Arthur A.
Physical Description
wool (overall material)
jacket center back: 32 1/2 in; 82.55 cm
trouser outer seam: 44 in; 111.76 cm
trouser inseam: 32 5/8 in; 82.8675 cm
waist: 34 in; x 86.36 cm
Place Made
United States: California, Los Angeles
bought in
United States: California, Los Angeles
worn in
United States: California, Los Angeles
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Clothing & Accessories
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur A. Morgan, Jr.
Additional Media

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