Great Male Renunciation

The Great Male Renunciation is the historical phenomenon at the end of the 18th century in which men stopped using brilliant or refined forms in their dress, which were left to women's clothing.[1] Coined by psychoanalyst John Flügel in 1930, it is considered a major turning point in the history of clothing in which the men relinquish their claim to adornment and beauty.[2] The Great Renunciation encouraged the establishment of the suit's monopoly on male dress codes at the beginning of the 19th century.

The fashion movement was associated with American republicanism, with Benjamin Franklin giving up his wig during the revolution, and later the Gold Spoon Oration of 1840 denouncing Martin Van Buren.[3]


  1. ^ Joanna Bourke, The Great Male Renunciation: The Men's Dress Reform Party in Interwar Britain, Journal of Design History, 9.1, 1996, 23-33.
  2. ^ William Kremer (2013-01-24). "Why Did Men Stop Wearing High Heels?". BBC World Service.
  3. ^ Peiss, Kathy (2011-11-29). Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 081220574X.