Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

A Snapshot of M&S Menswear Through Time

The images here 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 from the Resources section.

1930s - Mens shirt and tie gift sets go on sale for Christmas
1930s M&S Shop window display with shirts and ties in sets
M&S Window Display 1930s
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
A folded set of pyjamas with peach and white stripes
M&S Pyjamas c.1941
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
1950s Advert showing three men sitting on a beach wearing jumpers by M&S
M&S Advert 1950s
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
Photo of a man wearing grey trousers and a brightly coloured shirt with swirly patterns
M&S Menswear Advert 1971
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
Mannequin wearing a grey two piece suit with a brown polo neck jumper underneath
M&S Suit 1980s
2012 - 'World's most sustainable suit' developed, made from organic wool, reclaimed fabric and recycled plastic bottles
Smartly tailored grey suit with white shirt and grey tie
M&S 'World's Most Sustainable Suit'


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