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Teachers' notes

A snapshot of M&S menswear through time

The images here and on the next page represent a snapshot of how menswear has been developed at M&S over the years - some of the highlights are listed below and you can download the full timeline using the links below.

1930s - Mens shirt and tie gift sets go on sale for Christmas

1940s - CC41 pyjamas developed, that conformed to the government's Utility Clothing standards, which limited how much fabric could be used to make garments following rationing during World War Two

1950s/60s - After the war M&S put a lot of effort into inventing new fabrics that made clothes less expensive to make, and a new textile laboratory opened to experiment with nylons, plastics and other synthetic materials

1970s - Newly developed man-made fabrics such as Crimplene were used to create mens clothing in line with popular 70s fashion trends for bright colours and vivid patterns

1980s - M&S developed a way of matching colour so that large amounts of suit fabric could be dyed exactly the same colour. This meant that jackets and trousers matched perfectly in a range of sizes

2012 - 'World's most sustainable suit' developed, made from organic wool, reclaimed fabric and recycled plastic bottles

Organic - made from living material, not man-made or synthetic
Synthetic - not natural; made by combining different substances

View other relevant M&S menswear-related resources or see the teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas

Scroll down for a list of links and other related resources on this topic.

1930s M&S shop window display of shirt and tie sets
M&S men’s pyjamas made in about 1941
Advert showing mens jumpers from the 1950s by M&S
1960s advert for menswear and womenswear using Tricel fabric