Picture of Adam Tate Harwood

I’m Adam Tate Harwood and I’m interested in how men’s clothing has changed throughout history. I’ve started this blog to share my investigation into this fascinating subject. I want to make this website an accessible resource to all those with an interest in what men have wore in the past and introduce the history of men’s fashion in a new and engaging way.

I became interested in men’s clothes when I was preparing for a trip to Vegas to see a friend get married. I realized that I had no appropriate clothes to wear and so I decided to find out what the stylish man should wear in Vegas. I did some research online and discovered the world of men’s fashion blogs and that the clothes I’ve been wearing all these years were far too big for me!

I soon started to wonder why fashions came about and why we now wear different kinds of clothes than men who lived in the past. Why do men wear trousers and women wear skirts? Why doesn’t everyone wear hats any more? Why do our shirts have collars and not ruffs attached? I decided I would find out and this led me down the path to creating Millstone Ruff.

Sir Francis Walsingham in a ruff
Sir Francis Walsingham in a ruff

It’s been an enlightening but frustrating journey researching this subject. Frustrating because I couldn’t find a great deal of dedicated websites that told me what I wanted to know. I found many helpful articles that covered the history of men’s fashion but not one resource that satisfied my curiosity. The history of men’s clothing is sometimes covered by fashion blogs in one off articles such as this at articlesofstyle.com or it can be mentioned in blogs about fashion that include women’s fashion history where men’s fashion isn’t covered as much like this at historyofeuropeanfashion.wordpress.com (unfortunately no longer updated).

Louis XIV in high heels and stockings.
Louis XIV in high heels and stockings.

I hate to say it but Wikipedia has a great section on the history of western fashion which includes sections on men’s clothes, but to get a more comprehensive understanding of the subject I’ve started reading good old fashioned books. James Laver’s ‘Costume and Fashion: A Concise History’ is a prime example and ‘The Chronicle of Western Costume from the Ancient World to the late Twentieth Century’ by John Peacock, provides great illustrations of men’s costumes throughout the ages.  I’m particularly interested in men’s fashion from the 15th century to the 19th century, and this site will focus on these era’s.  I’ll keep you up to date on the sources I use on the way so you can make your own investigations if you want.

The history of clothing and textiles is a well established academic discipline. I’m not a fashion industry expert and there will be nothing in this blog that the fashion historian or costume expert won’t already know. I do however think there is a dearth of accessible information on the internet specifically dedicated to the history of men’s clothes for those who have a curious mind into the subject. I hope you find that Millstone Ruff fills this gap and you’ll want to subscribe to get the latest updates.

Adam Harwood
February 2018

Images from Wikimedia Commons (apart from the one of me of course!)

Leave a Reply