I noticed, that in older films, 1940's, 50's & 60's, the actors most times wear a full suit or other heavy clothing and a hat even during scenes with high heat. Was there a reason for this?

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    Hi there. If you have some examples, I suggest you edit them into the question; this will make it clearer what you're talking about :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 22:54
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    There's also the side point that those old materials are not as warm as they look, a lot of the time. in the production I'm working on now, I'm 'dressed for winter', shirt, necker, long-sleeve jerkin & huge woolen overcoat... & I have to wear 2 layers of modern thermals underneath ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 7:44
  • Wearing a hat in hot weather can make your head sweat. But wearing a broad brimmed hat in daylight will shade your face and neck and keep them cool while also protecting your skin from ultra violent ultraviolet light rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and eventual skin cancer. Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 18:19
  • Thee was a similar question a while ago. Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


The actors are/were wearing period appropriate clothing. A 3 piece suit was not uncommon when going to work or church. The suits were made from a variety of fabrics. Some fabric weights were meant for winter, others for summer. You will also notice that films from (and depicting) the 40's and 50's have adult women wearing dresses with hosiery (aka stockings). Period appropriate then, as well. It was not (generally) socially acceptable for adult women to wear slacks until the mid-60's.

There have been a lot of changes in clothing over the centuries. Less noticeable is the change in social norms and attitudes that accompany them. Yet they seem to go hand-in-hand.

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