Seeking details about black sixties soul suits.
December 9, 2007 8:58 AM   Subscribe

What kind of (black) suits, shirts, ties, shoes did sixties soul musicians wear on stage?

I'm a musician, playing in a classic style soul/funk outfit. We are looking at outfits to wear during gigs. We are inspired by the outfits of the classic soul bands. The kind of suits worn in Pulp Fiction by John Travolta / Samuel Jackson, the suits that were worn on stage by the (Motown) Funk Brothers and the suits that are worn by the Dap-Kings etc.

Does anyone know what kind of suits soul / funk musicians used to wear back in the days? Normally they appear to be single breasted three button black suits with small black ties and black shoes. Any particular brands, styles, details we should be looking at?

posted by IZ to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have any pictures of the specific look you are going for? (Googling for your examples turns up a lot of different looks.)

However off the top of my head I would say this:
- Don't fixate on the three-button idea, some good looking suits in that style might be two-buttoned. (Some dap-king photos suggest this)

- Make sure the pants are flat front (not pleated).

- The lapels in the pictures that I saw are all on the skinny side. That's an important detail.
posted by oddman at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2007

You actually mention a variety of styles of suit: slimcut (Reservoir Dogs), relaxed fit (Dap-Kings) and I think the thing that is really jumping out at you is the tailoring. The suits are fitted, making them look approximately 1 million times better than off-the-rack. So, short answer: you need a tailor.

If you are looking for the more slim cut suits (ie the Hives) I'd try European brands too because that style is much more in there, whereas US suits tend to be more relaxed cut.
posted by fshgrl at 11:11 AM on December 9, 2007

Perhaps a suit from Merc would fit the bill?
posted by oneirodynia at 12:28 PM on December 9, 2007

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