Thursday, October 31, 2013

Men's Fashion Retrospective ~ Before 1900

Dear Fashionable Reader, I get a lot of questions about the fashionable male. Some want to know how to dress better, some want to know how to dress more steampunk.

via icanhascheeseburger

First may I direct your attention to this post on thrifting for Victorian menswear for shopping tips?

Now that we have that out of the way, let us move on to more of a timeline retrospective on the fashionable male. My personal passion is for Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian menswear so the focus will be on that in particular, but we will touch on some earlier stuff as well. What I'm going to talk about is what aspects give the look of the time period, that is are iconic in our minds and inspire the viewer to think on a specific style in history. I'm not thinking in terms of absolutes, there are always exceptions, but mainly generalities.



Fighting Trousers 

1600s


Full Attire and Doublet & Breeches both 1630-1640  The Victoria & Albert Museum

1600-1624 Man’s Nightcap The Victoria & Albert Museum

1620-1640 Collar Manchester City Galleries

1700s


1760  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1790  The Mint Museum

The feeling of the time period: buckle shoes, stockings, knee britches, long waistcoats, long jackets in the frock or morning style usually single breasted, lace at the neck and wrist, gloves, lots of embroidery and gilt detail, fabrics very opulent including velvet and brocade. Outfits are very coordinated and matched.

Waistcoat  1790  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

What women were wearing? Crazy paniers, huge fluffy dresses, madness.

Dangerous Liaisons

Want inspiration? Watch Dangerous Liaisons, Marie Antoinette, or the Slipper and the Rose

Early 1800s (Regency) 



1815 Man’s Suit  1815-1820  The Victoria & Albert Museum

1830s  The Kyoto Costume Institute

The feeling of the time period: stockings & knee britches for evening, boots, short waistcoats, jackets in the cut-away or morning style, stock and cravat in crisp white or silk colors, fabrics more conservative. Outfits are more complimentary colors than matchy matchy.

1820 Top Hat  1820  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1830 Stock  1830  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1834 Stock  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Waistcoats often characterized by a high small collar or a shawl collar, could be double or single breasted. They were commonly the most colorful and patterned part of an outfit.

 1835 high collar vest 1835-1840 & shawl collar waistcoat 1840s both Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mandarin Collar Vest  1845-1859  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A note on terminology: in most literature a vest was single breasted, a waistcoat was double-breasted. I tend to refer to them all as waistcoats so as to keep the feel of a past time period. Ah the concessions of a writer.

For above stairs, the gentleman often wore a banyan.

 1830 Banyan and Waistcoat The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were women wearing? Nightgowns. Sigh.

My preferred Sense & Sensibility

Want inspiration? Watch some BBC Austen.

Middle 1800s (Early Victorian) 

 

1856 Boy’s Ensemble  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1850s  The Museum at FIT

 1865-1870  and 1867-1868  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The feeling of the time period: the three piece suit is introduced in force, shiney shoes close to modern formal wear, waistcoats/vests stay short, jackets range from cut-away to frock to morning style (as occasion dictated), narrow trousers were popular, stock and cravats in crisp white or black, fabrics quite conservative. Jacket and trousers often match.

 1850s Morning Vest The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1860s Waistcoat Victoria & Albert Museum

 Waistcoats often came in plaid, possibly due to Queen Victorian's love of Scotland.

1862 Riding Boots  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1850 Top Hat  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1865 Derby The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were women wearing? Increasingly wide (horsehair petticoats to hooped crinoline supported) dresses

1858  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Want inspiration? Watch North & South, Cranford or Under the Greenwood Tree

Late 1800s (Classic Victorian)


1871 Wedding Suit  The Victoria & Albert Museum

The feeling of the time period: similar to above only more and more specialty outfits for specific occasions, waistcoats/vests stay short, jackets range from cut-away to frock to morning style (as occasion dictated), narrow trousers were popular, stock and cravat in crisp white or black mainly, fabrics quite conservative influenced by Victoria's mourning. Jacket and trousers often match. Dandy's or Pinks (named after the high collar points) distinguish themselves partly because of their more brightly colored preferences.
 
1872 Godeys Sept 1872 Nightshirt
Shirt for gentleman, with embroidered bosom.

Socks for men 1872
1880s Boating Cap and Jacket Kerry Taylor Auctions

Evening Suit  1880s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Evening Vest  1885-1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were women wearing? Huge oval hoop dresses evolving to the bustle through natural form, back to the bustle, finally A-frame.

Fashion overview Alfred Roller (modified)

1894-1896  The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Want inspiration? Watch Forsythe Saga, The Buccaneers or one of the longer running time series like The Pallisers

Opposing Votes for Men

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

4 comments:

  1. Superb collection, Gail. I appreciate seeing the real clothing rather than just drawings. Thank you for posting it. I confess, I pasted it into my private notes on wardrobe.

    Will buy you tea as a thank you, should our paths ever cross.

    Marvelous and informative, as always. I enjoyed it.

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    1. My very great pleasure, delighted you enjoy it!

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  2. Wow, this is so amazing, thank you! I am blown away by the usefulness of this and your last Steampunking Halloween post. I can't wait to show all of my blogging friends. :D

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure! I try to be helpful as well as silly. :)

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