Xem thêm

Victorian Men’s Fashion: A Journey Through History

CEO Tinh Phung
In this article, we will take a fascinating journey through the fashion history of Victorian men. From the early 1830s to the late 1890s, men's fashion underwent significant changes, yet maintained a distinctive style that...

In this article, we will take a fascinating journey through the fashion history of Victorian men. From the early 1830s to the late 1890s, men's fashion underwent significant changes, yet maintained a distinctive style that reflected the Victorian era. Join us as we explore the evolution of men's clothing during this period.

Trouser Pants: A Rarity from the Past

Let's start with trousers, one of the rarest surviving garments from the Victorian period. While waistcoats and coats are more commonly found, trousers from this era are a true gem to behold. In the early 1830s, trousers had just become established as a popular choice, replacing breeches in most cases. Pantaloons, tight-fitting garments reaching the calf or ankle, were also prevalent. However, narrow trousers with instep straps soon became the trend, and pantaloons fell out of favor around 1850.

During most of the era, trousers were narrow with slight variations in width. However, in the late 1850s and early 1860s, the "peg-top" trouser style emerged, featuring a wide top that tapered down to the ankle. At the beginning of the era, fall-front trousers were still in use, but fly-front trousers became more popular by 1850. Knickerbockers, a loose form of breeches, appeared in the 1860s and continued to be worn for sport and country activities until the end of the century.

For evening wear, black cloth trousers were the norm throughout the era. For daytime, contrasting colors to the coat were fashionable, such as white, fawn, or pale grey in fine milled cloth. Striped, checked, and plaid materials were also common for less formal occasions. Cotton fabrics like nankeen and drill were prevalent for summer wear.

Suits, Jackets, and Coats for Every Occasion

Now let's delve into the world of suits, jackets, and coats, which were the staples of men's fashion during the Victorian era. The frock coat, with its long waist and short, full skirt, was the go-to choice for day dress at the beginning of the period. It could be single-breasted or double-breasted and dominated fashion throughout the 1840s and early 1850s. The double-notched "M" lapel, characteristic of frock coats, fell out of fashion around 1850.

In the 1860s, the frock coat underwent changes with less waist shaping and wider sleeves tapering towards the wrist. By 1870, the sleeves lost their fullness and became straight to the wrist, featuring defined cuffs with two buttons. The waistline rose in the 1890s, and lapels lengthened as well.

Although the frock coat remained popular throughout the Victorian era, it began to lose its dominance in the 1850s as the morning coat gained popularity. The frock coat, with its curved front cutaway from the waist, was initially worn as a riding coat in the 1830s and 1840s and later evolved into an alternative to the frock coat.

Another jacket style, shorter than the frock coat or morning coat, emerged around 1850. Unlike the formal coats, this jacket had visible pockets and was primarily worn for informal country or seaside occasions. In the 1860s, this jacket became accepted for general daytime wear and evolved into the Norfolk jacket, which featured a pleated back and front. By the 1880s, the single-breasted forms of these jackets had rounded fronts, a style that continued until the end of the century.

The tailcoat, with its front cutaway to waist level, was once suitable for both day and evening wear before 1830. However, by the beginning of the Victorian era, it became primarily an evening style. It still appeared for formal daytime wear in the 1840s but gradually transformed into an evening-only garment by 1860. The evening tailcoat had long lapels, revealing much of the waistcoat, while the daytime coat had higher buttoning. In the 1880s, a roll collar style emerged as an alternative to the traditional collar and lapel design.

In the 1880s, a new style of coat called the dinner jacket emerged for less formal evening occasions. It featured the roll collar of the tailcoat from that decade and the short form of the lounge jacket adopted for daywear. By the end of the century, it became commonly known as the dinner jacket.

For both evening coats and frock coats, the preferred colors were black or navy blue. Brown, dark green, and mulberry were occasional choices, but black remained the standard for evening wear. Dark shades of other colors were more common for frock coats.

The waistcoat, on the other hand, was a garment where men could embrace color and ornamentation. Waistcoats were available in a multitude of fabrics and designs, showcasing the fashionable materials used in women's dresses. Embroidery was a popular embellishment, often done by amateurs. The fabric, level of ornamentation, and colors of waistcoats depended on the occasion for which they were worn.

At the beginning of the era, waistcoats with figured silks and satins were in vogue, similar to women's dress fabrics of the time. Plain silk and satin waistcoats were often embroidered, and cross-stitch patterns in bright-colored silks on a black or dark satin ground were common. Tartan patterns in silk and velvet grew popular in the 1850s. After 1860, there was a shift towards woolen fabrics, with patterns limited to a single color in fancy weaves.

The waistcoat lengthened a bit in the 1870s and 1880s but maintained a horizontal line until the 1890s. For evening wear, white waistcoats were prevalent at the beginning of the era, but black waistcoats gained popularity in the 1860s and 1870s. In the 1890s, white marcella or pique waistcoats became the norm for evening wear, while black waistcoats remained associated with the dinner jacket.

Shirts, Ties, and Accessories: The Finishing Touches

Now, let's turn our attention to shirts, ties, and accessories that completed the Victorian men's ensemble. Linen shirts with high collars and frilled openings were still in use at the beginning of the era, but frills gradually gave way to vertical tucking or pleating by the 1850s. Evening shirts retained some frilling until around 1850, but by the 1870s, shirt fronts became plain.

Collars evolved throughout the era, becoming lower and turning down over the cravat. Detachable collars became popular, and both single and double collars were worn. The 1860s saw a trend of narrow bands tied in small, flat bows or knots. In the 1870s and 1880s, shaped tie bands tied in bows or knots became fashionable. The 1890s witnessed a surge in varied tie knots and materials.

Accessories, such as jewelry, were minimalistic during the Victorian era. The emphasis was on simplicity and subtlety, with one handsome signet ring on the little finger of the left hand, a modest scarf pin, and a light, thin watch-guard being the preferred choices. False jewelry was frowned upon, and men were advised to choose genuine and high-quality pieces. Antique or old jewelry was also admired for its curiosity and history.

Gloves were an essential accessory for Victorian men, particularly for daytime wear. Leather or cloth gloves in dark colors like tan, grey, and brown were common, as they hid dirt and germs. Evening gloves were always white and were removed when eating or smoking. Hats and gloves were typically removed upon entering a home.

When it came to footwear, high boots were still worn for walking, but half-boots gained popularity throughout the era. The Blucher, a half-length Wellington boot with front lacing, became common after 1850. Button boots and shoes were introduced in the late 1830s and gained traction in the 1860s. Boots and shoes had square toes and evolved from long and narrow to wider and more rounded shapes.

Victorian men also embraced sports clothing, with specific styles for various activities. Hunting, shooting, cricket, tennis, and even smoking had their respective jackets and coats. These garments were designed for comfort and functionality while maintaining a sense of fashion.

Embrace the Victorian Style

The Victorian era was a time of elegance and refinement, and men's fashion during this period reflected these qualities. From tailored suits to intricate waistcoats and accessories, the Victorian gentleman paid great attention to detail in his attire. The clothing choices were diverse, catering to different occasions and personal styles.

So why not embrace the Victorian style and incorporate some of its timeless charm into your wardrobe? Whether it's a Victorian-inspired waistcoat or a dapper bowler hat, channel your inner Victorian gentleman and experience the rich history of men's fashion.

Victorian vest waistcoats men fashion Caption: Victorian vest waistcoats - A colorful and ornate accessory that added style to men's ensembles.

Victorian Men's Fashion History and Clothing Guide, Vintage Dancer Caption: A glimpse into the fashion history of Victorian men, a testament to their impeccable style.

So, whether you're attending a formal event or just want to add a touch of Victorian flair to your everyday outfits, explore the rich world of Victorian men's fashion. Let the elegance, sophistication, and attention to detail of this bygone era inspire your sartorial choices. Shop for Victorian-inspired clothing and accessories to create a unique and timeless look that pays homage to the Victorian gentleman.

Victorian era clothing in the USA | Victorian era clothing in the UK

Now that you have a glimpse into the fascinating world of Victorian men's fashion, why not try incorporating some elements of this timeless style into your own wardrobe? Embrace the elegance and attention to detail that defined the Victorian era, and let your personal style reflect the rich history of men's fashion.