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The Cut of Men's Clothes 1700-1800 | History of Fashion Design

The Cut of Men’s Clothes 1700-1800

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The predominant cut in 1700 was full skirted but soft with strong vertical lines introduced with rows of buttons, long hanging cravats, and bottomed wigs.

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An American woman’s dress of 1711 and a man’s costume of 1702-1720 from McClellan

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An American woman’s dress of 1714-1727, a man’s suit of the same period, from McClellan

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Figures from McClellan1702-1725: A gentleman wearing a “Roquelaure” cloak and a fur muff c.1702-1714, a lady wearing a yellow gown of 1714-1727 (back of dress in plate above), a lady in a c. 1720 green brocade gown now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the gentleman on the right is wearing the coat shown in the plate above, c. 1714-1727.

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1720 men from Fairholt.

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1727 plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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1727 plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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1739, Fairholt

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plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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Plate from McClellan: Left to Right: A plain moiré silk gown worn in Massachusetts c. 1725, A gown made of imported Chinese silk brocade worn by the sister of the Governor of Massachusetts around 1735, a gentleman’s full dress suit of around 1740, worn with a solitaire bow tie, A green silk taffeta gown worn in Philadelphia around 1740.
As women began to adopt the full skirted pannier style, men’s dress did likewise, expanding their skirts through the 1740’s, till the trend reversed, and coat skirts softened again and were cut less fully.

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1744, Fairholt

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plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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1750, Fairholt

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1750-1760 plates from McClellan: Blue-green brocade gown, suit of uncut velvet worn by Robert Livingston of New York c. 1760, back of the Pennsylvanian wedding gown of 1752 seen above.

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Back of a coat worn by Robert Livingston of Clermont, (an American Aristocrat of the mid 18th Century). Click for larger image

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plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906

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plate from Calthrop’s English Costume, 1906
By 1760 coats were being cut away from the front, and vest were cut at hip length.

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1760, Fairholt

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1760-1776 plates from McClellan: Rear view of the suit of uncut velvet worn by Robert Livingston of New York c. 1760, Back view of an American white satin wedding gown of 1760 (front view below, pattern on 18th century pattern page), Everyday costume of a young lady of 1770-1776 made of chintz, suit for an elderly American man of business worn in German town, PA in the 1770’s.

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McClellan plates of 1760-1776: Light blue lutestring gown worn by Mrs. St. Clair,1760, Suit of dark satin worn by Robert Livingston, 1760 Wedding dress of Mrs. St. Clair, a suit of uncut velvet worn by Robert Livingston.

The 1770’s introduced the small standing band collar and small flat collar.
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1770, Fairholt

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English country people, 1772, Fairholt.

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1772, the extreme of French Fashion in England, Fairholt.

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American costumes of 1778-1790 from McClellan: Suit worn at the French court in 1778 by William West of Philadelphia, gown in the French style popular during the Revolution,Suit of drab cloth lined with green silk based on a print of 1786, dress of 1790.

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Man’s Court Dress of 1779, France.

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Frenchman’s walking dress 1779

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The 1780’s are marked by shorter waistcoats, and fold over collars.

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1786 riding dresses in England, Fairholt

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Waistcoat, c. 1800 (ignore labeling on photo, it is wrong)

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White silk suit with silver embroidery worn by the future Tsar Alexander I to his wedding c.1790.

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Two European style full court dress suits of patterned velvet with colored silk embroidery c.1780-1800.

The 1790’s saw brief fashions for long high waisted coats and short jackets. The French Revolution launched trousers from the realm of proletariat into radical fashion.

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American dress of 1790-1800 from McClellan: man in a brown broadcloth “shad-belly” coat worn by a Mr. Johnson of Germantown, PA, c. 1790, mauve crepe gown worn by Mrs. Sartori, dress of fine glazed cambric worn by Mme. Chevalier, c. 1797, man in the style of 1800, Muslin dress worn by Deborah Logan of Philadelphia, 1797.
By 1800 even aristocratic formal wear owed more inspiration to middle class and revolutionary dress then it did to its aristocratic forbears, making the dark three-piece suit the first and longest lasting Revolutionary Uniform to be adopted by all classes.

Free Pattern diagrams For The Drawing Below and other Men’s Clothing, available at The 18th Century Pattern Page.

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