Friday, October 28, 2011

Regency Men’s Clothing— Part 2

In last month's post we spent some time illustrating what the Regency gentlemen wore on the upper portion of his body. For this month’s post we will continue, concentrating on the region below the waistcoat . . .

Breeches were going out of fashion and the new tailored pantaloons or trousers, often light-colored for day and dark for evening, became acceptable. Breeches were required for court dress, and were still used for riding and country wear as were buckskins. Knee breeches were worn only for evening dress, with stockings and dancing shoes or pumps—and de rigueur for gentlemen attending Almack’s.

Stockings and simple leather shoes or dancing slippers were worn with knee breeches. Boots, typically Hessian boots, became the rage after the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. Wellington boots, as they were known, came calf-high, with tassels in the front.

Then there are the many accessories a gentleman might have carried, at one time or another:

A pocket watch, worn in the waistband, attached to a fob or seal, by ribbon or chain, which hung outside the waistband.

A snuff box - an article that could complement his wardrobe, adding to his style and fashionable image.

A walking stick, gloves, and hat.

The man of some consequence might wear a family signet ring.

For the true dandy there was the indispensable quizzing glass: a single-lens magnifying glass held before the eye to examine a certain object in question.

The quizzing glass was usually dangled at the end of a ribbon or long chain around one's neck.

To put all the elements of the gentlemen's dress together, there was a very good chance he would need the assistance of a skilled valet to achieve the perfectly turned out, Regency dressed man.


Elisabeth Rose said...

No wonder they're always commenting on a man's "fine leg" in regency novels. Those trousers wouldn't flatter anyone with a paunch!

Carolyn Brown said...

WOW! Now I know why it takes a special person to write Regency! Such extensive research!

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Regency clothing is so fascinating. I can't imagine needing someone to help you get dressed and undressed everyday.

Sandy Cody said...

Fascinating ... makes me wonder what will be said of current fashions in years to come. Loved the pictures you included.

Shirley Marks said...

Lis, Some gentlemen would dampen their buckskins so they would dry "skin tight" upon their lower limbs. One did need nice legs back then.

What would one do without their lady's maid or valet, Joselyn?

Sandy, I can't imagine anyone being inspired by what we wear today.