During the early Twentieth Century serious attention was paid in some quarters to what was called "dress reform". An article from the August 14, 1929 magazine The Nation pointed out that
"The Life Extension Institute weighed the street clothing of the women in New York City last June. The clothing of the women...averaged two pounds, ten ounces, while that of the men was was eight pounds, six ounces."
The writer went on to mention that despite the efforts being made by organizations such as the Men's Dress Reform Party in far off England, they had little hope for any meaningful changes in the near future. On the other hand they did recognize a number of elements in menswear that had changed for the better:
"Men have largely discarded long-sleeved, long-legged underwear both in summer and in winter; the once obligatory starched shirt and collar have collapsed before the soft varieties; high shoes have given place to low; and stiff derbies have yielded to soft hats or non at all."
The Italian Futurist Ernesto Thayaht offered his remedy for the fashion maladies of the day with the design of a one piece garment called a Tuta (photographed on the above). Most Americans saw the garment simply as pajamas.
Click here to read a 1929 article about the Dress-Reform Movement.
Click here to read an editorial about the need for reform in men's attire.
A dress-reform movement was proposed in the 1940s, too...