There are three major coat styles, each with many variations. The square-cut tailcoat is often double breasted. Initially the tails of the coat are squared off at the calf; after 1800 they end at the knees or a little below. Pleats are set into either side of the center back. The Bob-tailed coat, one important variation, has tails cut off quite short. The second major coat style is for court. Ancestor of the modern cutaway, it tapers sharply away from the breastbone. The third style is the overcoat. Similar in cut to the second style, it is identifiable by its rough fabrics and use of strap fastenings in place of buttons. All coat sleeves have fullness concentrated at the top. Cuffs, normally small, are an extension of the sleeve. They are turned either up or down, often are unbuttoned and fall over the hand. Generally coats are left unbuttoned to display the waistcoat. Usually square, the waistcoat is double or single breasted and ends just below the waist. It buttons up the front to the chin and often has a shallow-standing collar. When the coat is buttoned, the bottom edge of the waistcoat shows. There are two types of breeches, the familiar knee breeches and the pantaloon. The pantaloon is tighter than knee breeches, and often made of elastic fabric. At first it is calf length; later it widens slightly at the bottom and is held down by straps under the feet. Two slits at the side front allow for entrance. Stockings are usually white and clocked in black; sometimes there are striped stockings. The old-style greatcoat is revived. Another overcoat, the Garrick (Carrick) has tiered capes at the shoulders and strap fastenings. Black kid pumps are for dress with either style of trouser. Boots are cut to cover the knee in front and notched and curved away to the calf in back. A second popular boot is well fitted. It has a turned-down cuff, which is usually red, and a low heel.
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC) Prints -- France -- 19th century -- (YVRC)
caricatures (AAT) costume (mode of fashion) (AAT) prints: engravings (AAT)
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Related Exhibit or Resource:
Directoire and First Empire: 1785-1815: Dress: Men
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 5
New York, NY Theatre Arts Slide Presentations 1975
GT513 +B87 5 (LC)
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