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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.