Menswear began to take a backseat in focus to women’s attire, and today’s ideas of traditional and classic menswear colors derive from the changes that happened in men’s styles during the Victorian era. Bright and liveried shades were replaced by the socially equalizing daily business suits in demure browns, dark blues, grays and blacks. A good charcoal suit, for example, could see a man through more than one event, from the office with the abacus to the evening charity meetings at church on his stroll home.
As social customs met political climates, the idea that all men were equal had changed the fashion scene once dominated by men’s apparel for many centuries. Once the peacocks, men of proper and aspiring societies became content to take a back seat to women’s flair and stopped wearing the diamonds, so to speak. Although pockets sprung up everywhere of regional styles, overall the gentleman of sensitivity utilized either the new clothing retail catalogs or his cherished tailor to fit in, in more ways than one. Most evidently by his choice of non-descript color schemes.