When Men Were Men: Rugged Fashion (2023)

When men were men, that is the phrase that comes to mind when we think of rugged fashion. This style of fashion is grounded in the concept of masculinity and toughness.

Through history, men’s clothing has evolved to be more than just utilitarian pieces for survival; it has also become an expression of personal style. However, rugged fashion remains a timeless trend that has captured the hearts of many men.

Starting in the late 1890s, men’s clothing sported a long, lean, and athletic silhouette that dominated the fashion scene.

Check out this Youtube video titled “When Men Were Men | OFFICIAL TRAILER – YouTube” to witness a great documentary exploring the traditional masculinity in modern times. It’s an excellent source of entertainment that would leave you feeling nostalgic and satisfied.

The Rise of Rugged Fashion

In recent years, fashion trends have evolved to embrace rugged fashion. The trend has become popular among men, and fashion brands and designers have capitalized on it.

Today, we’ll explore the origins and rise of rugged fashion.

The Influences Behind Rugged Fashion

Rugged fashion has evolved from workwear, military clothing, and outdoor recreation. In the early 1900s, men’s clothing was utilitarian and unimaginative.

However, as men began to take part in more rugged activities such as hunting, fishing and camping, it became necessary for clothing to be durable and comfortable. This, in turn, influenced the development of rugged fashion.

Military clothing also played a significant role in its development. Clothing designed for military use was sturdy and durable, and designers began to draw inspiration from it.

The Appeal of Rugged Fashion

Several factors contribute to the popularity of rugged fashion. One of the themes often associated with this style is masculinity.

Men who are drawn to this trend, are often seeking to portray an image of toughness and ruggedness. Another appeal of rugged fashion is its versatility.

It’s a look that a man can wear in a rugged outdoor setting or out in the city. Overall, rugged fashion is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

Rugged Fashion Essentials

When men were men, their clothing was utilitarian and rather unimaginative. However, as we entered the 1900s, a new style emerged that became known as rugged fashion.

This style consists of strong, durable, and textured clothing items that give off a classic and timeless appeal.


One of the most important pieces of clothing to achieve a rugged look is outerwear. A leather jacket is a classic staple that can be paired with a t-shirt and jeans for a casual look, or dressed up with chinos for a smarter outfit.

Denim jackets are also a great choice for a more casual look and are perfect for layering in cooler weather.


To complete the rugged look, selecting the right footwear is crucial. Work boots and hiking boots are popular choices that provide both durability and style.

The key is to choose a pair that matches the occasion – formal settings call for a more polished look, while casual settings allow for a more rugged style.


To complete the rugged look, accessories are a must. Belts, hats, and sunglasses can all add an extra touch of style to your outfit.

A leather belt with a simple buckle can help accentuate your waistline, while a wool beanie is perfect for the colder months. Aviator sunglasses not only look stylish, but they also offer protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Modern Interpretations

The traditional rugged fashion style has been given a modern twist by designers and brands today. More and more, they are incorporating technology into the creation of rugged clothing and accessories to make them durable and long-lasting.

Hi-Tech Fabrics

Hi-tech fabrics are becoming increasingly popular in creating clothing with durability in mind. Materials like GORE-TEX, Kevlar, and Dyneema are being used to create rugged clothing items that can withstand extreme conditions.

Fabrics with moisture-wicking properties, such as merino wool, are also being utilized to create clothing that is both durable and comfortable to wear.

Urban Rugged

Rugged style is no longer limited to a particular demographic. Today, fashionable city-dwellers are adapting rugged looks for a more urban environment.

One example of this is the flannel shirt, which has been elevated with modern interpretations like more fitted cuts, unexpected color combinations, and updated patterns.


Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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