|The Eighteenth Century Garb Homepage:|
|Handbook of English Costume in the Eighteenth Cetury|
by Willett & Phillis Cunnington
A Suit of Clothes
1. (a) Coat,. collariess and low, with buttons from neck to hem. Embroidered waistcoat open above showing Steinkirk. RoU-up stockings. Shoes with square blocked toes and massive heels. (1700-1710.) (h) Similar coat fastened; long button-holes with small openings for the buttons. Flared skirts. Early pocket flaps. Tricorne hat. Shoes (less blocked) with high tongues and very small buckles. FuU-bottom wig. (1710-1720.)
'The skirt of your fashionable coats forms as large a circumference as our petticoats; as these are set out with whalebone so are those with wire to increase and sustain the bunch of fold that hangs down on each side.' 171 i. Addison and Steele, The Spectator.
'The plaits of die coat were made to stick out very much in imitation of the ladies'hoops.' 1736. Read's Weeklyjournal.
The back vent might be (see Plate 10):
(i) A plain slit, the coat material being flat on each side. Usual from 1700 to 1730.
(2) A vent with a deep inverted pleat on each side. (1720--70, but commonest from 1730-60.)
(i) Without collar and cut low in front. After 1720 it was gradually raised to fit flat round the neck.
(2,) A narrow upright band, sometimes sloping to nothing in front, was very occasionally worn from c. I720, but this feature belongs essentially to the second half ofthe century.
The front line and fastenings
The coat fell in a straight line down the front, with sometimes a slight overlap of the skirts when fastened at the waist, until c. 1740.
From 1740 or occasionally a little earlier the front edges began to he curved away from the niid-line at about waist level. At the same time the side seams were correspondingly curved back, thus
2. Low-necked coat which, with waistcoat, is open at the bosom to show hanging cravat. Full-bottom wig. (Style Of I70O.)
Gold, silver, gilt, white metal, dark metal, plate, pewter, steel, wire, brass.
Brass buttons were often used on double-breasted coats and also on frocks, being of a sporting character.
Poor people's buttons might be very mixed, e.g. advert for a missing boy: 'had on a dark blue grey broadcloth coat ... with brass moulded buttons, the brass of one button on his sleeve and hip are dropt off from the moulds; his waistcoat is camlet with some flat white metal and silk buttons; his breeches are blue-grey broadcloth and blue-grey mo- hair buttons.'
3. (a) Coat-buttons down to the hem. Unusually deep cuffi for this date. Short waistcoat. Poll-up stockings. Smaller full-bottom wig. Shirt cuff with ruffles. (1720.) (b) Coat with buttons to the hem. More usual cuffs. Shirt sleeves without ruffles. Tricorne hat under arm. Full- bottom wig. Is wearing gloves. (1 720.)
4. (a) Coat with buttons to just below waist. Much-pleated side vents. Slit sleeves. Pocket flaps, placed medium low with early style of scallops. Campaign wig. (1720.) (b) Similar coat with round cuffs. P,on-ups. Tasselled cane. (1 720.) Note. Plates 3 and 4 depict four young men friends whose portraits were painted at the sariie time in 1720. Their costumes show slight differences in contemporary fashions. H.E.C.E.C.
5. (a) Coat, fiffing the neck, buttons to just below the waist. Scalloped pocket-flaps placed high. Side vents with only three pleats. Shoes, rounded toes, not blocked. Square buckles larger than previously. (c. I 7,ZS.) (h) An unusual sporting coat with belt and very low-placed pocket flap. Steinkirk. Breeches tied over the stockings for convenience, like a working-man's. Shoes with moderate buckles and rounded toes. (c. 172,0-1725.)
(a) witliflaps (horizontal) The opening, often widened downwards for etsier access, was covered by an oblong flap.
(i) Flaps had straight borders occasionally dipping to a rounded point, until 1710.
(2) Scalloped borders, usually triple, from i7io onwards. 'About two years since ... 1 produced ... the scallop flap.' i7i2. Addison and Steele, The Spectator. 'The various scallop of the pocket.' 1713. Steele, The Ctiardian.
Early pockets were placed somewhat low but rose to just below waist level from about 1720.
(b) The long pocket (vertical) (see PI. 4o).
This had a vertical opening covered with a narrow upright flap, usually with decorative buttons on the flap.
This type was uncommon after 17io and rare after i,72,o exceptabroad.
Coats with long pockets generally had slit sleeves.
it is to be noted that in the first half of the century a gentleman's coat had no inside pocket.
6. (a) Son in coat with mariner's cuff; breeches buckled over stockings. (b) Father in laced coat and waistcoat; roll-up stockings. (c) Daughter in back-fastening gown, apron with bib; pinner on her head. (i 74i.)
7. ciiiien of coat in figured silk with deep cuff typical of 3O.) (h) (173s.) and (c) show this style of coat as worn.
8. Coat with round cuffi; embroidered waistcoat with buttons ending at waist. Clocked stockings. Shoes, rounded toes and large rectangular buckles of 'baroque' design. (c. 1740.)
Types of Cuff
(i) Open bel-@nd, known as open sleeves. 'A suit made with open sleeves.' 1706. Thomas Baker, Hainpstead Heath. 'Man,- zoats with open sleeves.' 173 5. Weekly Register. 7 Fairly wide until i7io, then narrowing with the sleeve. The size varied but the depth was moderate until c. 17.27. in the 173 O's the cuff was very deep, spreading upwards; the cuff wings curved round the back of the elbow and the de- corative buttons were often placed above the bend of the elbow. in the i74o's the cuff came down below the elbow and began to fall away from the sleeve behind. The open sleeve, never as popular as the closed cuff, went out of fashion by 1750.
(2) Closed cuffi called Round Gm These were worn throughout, and followed the lines of the open cuffi already described. in the 1730's this cuff often curved round the point of the elbow and was immensely deep. It was then known as a Boot cu5or more often a Boot Sleeve. 'These boot-sleeves were certainly intended to be the receivers of stolen goods; and 1 wish the tayler had been hanged who invented them.' 173 3. Henry Fielding, The Miser.
(b) Without Gu .ffs, called Slit Sleeves These sleeves were fairly close fitting and reached to or we]A above the wrist, ending with a vertical slit on the outer side which, if buttoned up, excluded much of the shirt sleeve; but if left open, as was usual, exposed the shirt-sleeve and ruffle. Some were turned up and then resembled a small open cuff.
9. Cuff styles through the century. (a) Pound Cuff. (1710.) (b) Round Cuff (1720.) (c) Open Cuff, generally called'open sleeve'. (1728-1730.) (d) Boot cuff, generally called 'boot sleeve'. (1735.) (c) Open cuff. (1741.) (f)Roundcuff.(1757.)(g)Poundcuff.(1763.)(h)l@adner's cuff. (1769.) (i) Pound cuff. (1780.)
10. Three types of back vent (diagrammatic). (a) Back vent Of 1770's and 1780's; but sirrlilar, from 1700 to 1730, with the hip buttons widely separated. (h) Back vent with side folds; mainly 1730 to 1770. (c) Back vent with overlp ('tackover'); mainly 1780's and '7Ws.
11. Frock with turn-over flat collar. Sleeves with closed cuffs falling away from the arm. 'Laced' waistcoat closed for riding. Heavy jack-boots; boot stockings. (c. 1745.)
12. (a) Frock with slit sleeves. Double-breasted waistcoat. Breeches buckled over stockings. Shoes with low tongues and medium-large buckles. 1 k1735-) (h) Coat with open cuffs looped up to a button. 'Laced' waistcoat. Stockings showing garters. (1740-1745.)
The side vents
From the apex of each side vent the front skirts sloped outwards to make an acute angle at the hem, and thus widened the base. The back vent was sometimes slit up to shoulder level and then laced up to fit the wearer; alternatively, pairs of tapes or ribbon ties were sewn at intervals down the back, when the vent was short. The back down to the vent, and the sleeves down to the elbows, being parts concealed by the coat, were often made of some inferior material. The neck was without a collar; or very rarely had a narrow band sloping down to nothing in front.
Like the coat, from the i74o's it began to be curved away from the mid-line, and becoming shorter exposed more of the breeches.
(i) Buttons matching those of the coat when of the same material but smaller. Buttons and button-holes extending from neck to hem (1700-1760's but unusual after 1740). The lower buttons of the skirt were never fastened, being purely ornamental. Buttons and button-holes extending from neck to just below
13. (a) Fringed waistcoat, open showing long cravat. (1727.) (h) 'Laced' waistcoat trimmed with decorative braid which appears on its sleeve emerging from the slit sleeve of the coat. Wig shows the beginning of a toupe'e. (c. 1730.)
14. Double-breasted waistcoat with fur-faced lapels. (1735 @
15. Waistcoat with buttons from neck to hem. Glove in one hand. (c. 1740.)
Knee breeches were universally worn throughout the eighteenth century. A characteristic feature of the cut, seen when a pair is laid out flat, is the very wide angle at the fork.
The seat was full and gathered into the waistband without being shaped to the figure, and the body portion was very shallow, the breeches hanging round the hips.
The legs, narrowing downwards ended just below the knees in a kneeband with a short slit up the outer seam closed by some three or four buttons.
The knees were covered by gartered stockings pulled up over the breeches, until about 1750; subsequently this method was rare. The kneeband, however, from about 173 5 began to be buckled below the knee over the stocking, and until 175o both methods were in fashion.
The working classes did not wear rollups but gartered below the knee, from the beginning ofthe century.
The kneeband buckle, often matching the ornamental shoe buckle but smaller, had a T-shaped flange which was passed through a button-hole in the kneeband and then given a right- angled twist to fix it in place. Knee buckles were small during the first half of the century.
'A set of stone buckles for the knees and shoes.' i748. T. Smollett, Roderick Random.
The Waistband was deeper in front than behind and fastened by three buttons covered with the same material as the breeches.
' Behind, a slit extending into the back seam had eyelet holes on each side for laces to tighten the waistband. A strap and buckle adjustment was being used by 1745. 'I wear a buckle behind and you have made eyelet holes for strings only and no cloth straps for the buckle.' 1745. Purefoy Letters.
Methods of closure
(a) Buttoned down the front without a fly. (1700-1750's and rare later.) A narrow vertical strip with button-holes was sewn to the left-side of the front opening, and projecting beyond the mid-
16. Sleeved waistcoat of cream damasked satin. Original specimen. (1730- 1740.)
17. Sleeved satin waistcoat with upper sleeves and back of interior material. Original specimen- (1720--1730.)
Four main and two fob pockets in the waistband were usual, all made ofwash-leather or stout lining material.
(i) with vertical openings at the side seams; these might he absent or only one on the right.
(2) with horizontal openings in front of each thigh with a corner flap buttoned to the waistband.
Method of supporting breeches
Breeches hung from the hips, depending on the cut and the tightening ofthe waistband behind, to keep them up.
MATERIAi.s and TRimmiNGs for a suit:
'To keep to the propriety of dress the coat, waistcoat and breeches must he Ofthe same Piece.' 1713. The Guardian. 69
18. Diagrams illustrating methods of closure of breeches. (a) A whole fall. (h) A small fall. (c) Buttoned in front without a fly. (d) Back view.
For undress: cloth, carnlet, frieze, drab, shag, duffle, plush, doily, damask, cut velvet, satin. Trimming with lace braid or fur was worn by the upper classes:
'For caaet coat trimmed with silver fox, for Lord Buckhurst £ i i.' i 7o2. Household Accounts of.Earl of Thanet, Kent Pecord Office.
For Court and Dress: gold stuff, silver stuff, brocade, flowered velvet and cloth; cloth always embroidered if worn at Court.
THE SHOULDER KNOT
A survival from die seventeenth century, was a bunch ofribbon, cord or braid which clangled from the right (rarely left) shoulder as a form of decoration; d@mod6 soon after i7io but continued to be worn by apprentices and on livery until about 1750. Frock materials Always undress and never embroidered though sometimes bound with gold or silver braid or given a velvet collar of a different colour, or collar and cuffs might be faced with fur. Cloth, fustian, drab, tufted fustian, plush, padua serge.
Linen, twill, sacking, and ticking were worn by artisans, and linen particularly by servants as it was washable.
Undress; cloth, serge, cahnianco. drugget, padua serge, leather. Double-breasted, mainly for riding: duroy, ca"et, kincob, swanskin.
This was a long loose garment resembling the modem dressing- gown, with a wra"ver front and sometimes a roll collar. it had loose sleeves often rolled back at the wrists and was tied at the waist with a sash.
'A scarlet silk net sash to tye a nightgown.'
THE MORNING GOWN
A similar garment and the two were interchangeable; but the morning gown was usually closer fitting and shorter.
THE BANYAN or INDIAN NIGHTGOWN
Also spelt Banian or Banjan.
This was a loose coat ending just above or below the knees, and having a short back vent to the skirt. It wrapped over in front being fastened by a clasp or was buttoned or hooked down the front; sleeves close and slit. All three were domestic garments worn at home for case, usually with a nightcap. But exceptions were common: Sotnetintes in slippers and a inornitiggown I-le payshis early visits round the town. 1748. Soamejenyns, Poems. 'The Bath countenances the men of dress in shewing themselves at the Pump in their Indian night-gowns without the least decorum.' 1713. The Guardian. Materials Brocade, damask, silk. silk and silver, satin, flowered satin, thread satin. Chintz, calirnanco. 'When 1 looked upon sflk satin to make one (a nightgown) of, my father was displeased and would have me have a calimanco.' I 7 IS. Diary of Dudley Ryder.
19. (a) Banyan, rdghteap and slippers. (1735.) (b) Nightcap with fur turn- '.'P. (1745.).(c) Nightgown or niorning gownwith closesleeves. (1735- 1745.)
Lustring, Persian, satin, alapeen. The colours were often very bright: 'A thread satin nightgown striped red and white and lined with a yellow Persian.' 1708. Daily Courant. Or yellow lined with blue, yellow lined with cherry colour, or green linings or the outside and lining a deep crimson'.
(Worn until 1740's and off and on by older men until i77o.) This was a strip of linen, lawn, or muslin worn round the neck and loosely knotted under the chin. The fawng ends were usually edged with lace or occasionally tasselled with beads.
TI-IE STEINKIRK was the name applied to'a method of wearing the cravat, which was loosely twisted in front and the ends then threaded through a button-hole or pinned on one side by a brooch to the coat. It was generally discarded after 1730 cxccpt by the elderly who occasionally wore it up to i77o.
From about 1735 onwards. It was a piece of linen or cambric folded to form a high neckband and sometimes stiffened with pasteboard. It was buckled behind, leaving the ruffled shirt front uncovered.
The black military stock or cravat was often adopted by sporting bucks.
The stock buckle, although often concealed under the wig, was sometimes made ofsilver or set with diamonds.
(1730's-1770'5) was a black tie worn over a stock, almost always with a bag wig but occasionally with a pig- tail wig. It was a length of broad black ribbon tied to the running- string of the bag behind, the long ends then being draped round the neck and variously arranged in front:
(1) tied in a bow under the chin, the most common method.
(2) tucked into the shirt front.
(3) pinned by a brooch to the shirt.
(4) left to dangle.
A narrow solitaire was worn close round the neck and tied in a stiffbow in front.
A folded hat;dkerchief knotted in front was worn by working- men when they wore anything at the neck. For neglig6e or sport neckcloths were often discarded and the shirt worn open at the neck, but with the waistcoat usually buttoned up.
Shirt sleeve frills or 'Ruffles' often edged with lace matching that of the ruffled shirt front, appeared below the coat sleeve. Plain shirt sleeves, ending in a narrow cunand were also worn, for undress only.
THE SURTOUT or GREAT COAT or CAPE COAT
From 1738 this was also known as a WRAP-RASCAI..
The Surtout was a large loose overcoat reaching below the knees; cut on similar lines to the coat being made up of four pieces with a seam under the arms and a central back seam but no seam at the waist.
The skirt was flared but with fewer pleats to the side vents which were very occasionally absent except for a slit on the left side for the sword.
The back vent was essential as the surtout was often worn on horseback.
Had a broad flat cape-Re collar and a small one above this Which, in cold weather, could be turned up round the cars and chin and buttoned down the front. The snuner cofiar was some@@ times replaced by a narrow standing band.
Buttoned from neck to hem, to knees or to waist, but usually worn open from the waist down. Double-breasted surtouts were popular for riding, from the 1740 5. (A highwayman wearing) 'a double-breasted light-coloured great coat, with a blue-grey frock and a scarlet waist.-coat.' 1749. IPswichjOurnal.
20. Great-coat or surtout. (1739.)
Sometimes added especially by coachmen and drivers. (i) a belt generally of the same material and buttoned in front; or (z) a half-belt arising from the side seams and buttoned in front. Pockets (i) absent (2) with flaps like the coat. (3) vertical long pockets. Sleeves Capacious with large round cuffs with or without buttons. Boot-sleeves common during the 1730's.
cloth, oilcloth, duffle$ frieze, kersey, drab, rug. Lined as for the coat or only lined in the foreparts.
Ceased to he fashionable after 1750.
It was full and gathered at the neck under a flat tumed-down collar, and fastened by a clasp under the chin. it reached below the knees and had a back vent for convenience when riding.
Sometimes worn thrown over one shoulder. 'I desire you to bring me a very good camlet cloake, lyned with what you like except blew. It may he purple or red or striped with those or other colours if so worn.'
This was more popular than the ordinary cloak although the terms were often interchangeable. It was an ample cloak made in four pieces and generally shaped to the neck without gathers. It had a single or double cape-collar and was fastened by a few buttons down the front. It was knee-length and had a back vent for riding.
'Scarlet Roccelo or cloak trimmed with gold lace and large old- fashioned buttons.' i 744. Daily Advertiser. Brass buttons were commonly used. Materials for cloaks: camlet, cloth, duffle, drab; always lined.
From 1700 to 1720'S: (see Plates 1, 3 and 4) Square blocked toes, high square heels. The uppers covered the foot, ending in square tongues rising high in front of the ankle. The sides were closed and the shoes fastened by straps from the heel leathers, buckled in front over the tongues. Very high tongues, as worn by the military, were adopted by beaux up to 1750. 'I took him for a captain ... he has tops on his slioes up to his mid leg.' 1707. G. Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem. Scalloped tongues, turned down to show a red lining were sni.ut wear until 17i6.
The wooden heel may raise the dancer's bound,
And with the scallop's Tov his step be crown'd.
'7i 6. jolin Gay, Trivia.
Red heels were worn by beaux until 1750. Shoesfrom i 72o to i 7-5o (see Plate s) Toes gradually became rounded and the blocked toe dis- carded. From 1740 round toes were universal.
Tongues were reduced in height and from 1725 Some were rounded, the squared corners being cut off.
Heels were lowered.
Thi#i be his yielding sole and low his heel,
Nor need I, sure, bidprudent youths beware
Lest with erected tongues their buckles stare,
The pointed steel shall oft their stockings reijd
And oft th'approaching petticoat offend.
1730. Soamcjenyns, The Art ofdancing.
Shape: square or more often oblong and small, from 1700 to c. 1725. Increasing in size from then, becoming fairly large in the 1740's (though never so large as in the 1770'5) - .2 pr. men's newest large shoe buckells 218.' 1740. E.R.O. DIDRC. F 23. Composition: white metal, steel, pinchbeck, black buckles, silver, diamond-studded. Shoes laced instead of buckled. though worn by women, were not worn by men except as makeshift or fancy dress. Six Pairs ofshoes complete and one To Gear ivith strings, the straps quite gone. 1749. Gentleman's Magazine. 'Inventory of a Gentleman's Bedroom.'
These were shoes with thin pliable soles and low heels. They were buckled or occasionally tied, over the tongue. 'for solpest and hecipest pair of pumps ilio.' (soled and heeled) 1747. E.R.O. DIDRC. F 38. Owing to their pliability pumps were worn by acrobats and ruruiing footmen, but were also worn for elegance: 'He wore a pair of white stockings on his legs and pumps on his feet; his buckles were a large piece of pinchbeck plate.' 1743. H. Fielding, Jonatlian Wild. Description of an attorney's clerk dressed as a beau. (A Fop) 'Spanish-leather pumps without heels and the burnished peaked toes fme wrought buckles near as big as those of a coach-horse, covering his instep and half the foot.'
Mainly for indoor wear; deep toecaps and either very shallow or no heel leathers, like mules. (The word 'mule' was not used in the eighteenth century though used before and after.)
Overshoes with thick leather uppers and wooden soles; un- common in the eighteenth century.
Coarse slioes witli wooden soles plated with iron, and worn only by rusties.
These were reserved for riding, hunting, travelling and the military.
(a) HEAVY JACKBOOTS (see Plate i i) These reached above the knees with slightly spreading 'bucket tops'; the toes blocked and square, the squareness diminishing in the 1740's. Heels square and massive but not very high. Worn with broad spur leathers, and spurs with star-sha,,,ed rowels. Made ofvery strong leather.
(b) LIGHT JACKBOOTS Shaped to the leg and covering the knees in front but cut in a U-shaped dip behind to allow easy bending.
(C) HALF JACKBOOTS,alsocaUedjocKEY BOOTS
These ended below the knee with a turned-down top of a Sk)fter and lighter-coloured leather. They were closer fitting than the heavy jackboots but had no fastenings, and were pulled on by leather or string loops on each side.
'A fashionable pair of Russia leather tops for half jack-boots ... bring soine strings to set on my boots.' 1736. Purefoy Letters. (d) G.AMB.ADOES These were massive leather boots, reinforced with iron bands; attached to the saddle and used instead of stirrups.
They were open on the outer side for easy access but sufficiently covered the rider's leg to protect from dirt. 'I make shift to ride about ten miles a day by virtue of certain implemetits called gambadoes where my feet stand firm as on a floor.' 1732.j. Swift, Correspondence. Materials Shoes: leather generally black, Morocco or Spanish leather. Heels Of leather, wood or cork. ]3oots: leather.
These were gaiters of leather or canvas, shaped to the leg from above the knee to the ankle with an extension over the foot. They were laced, buttoned or buckled down the outside and a buckled strap under the instep secured them to the foot. Some were stiff@ned by iron supports: 'I desire that you will have the irons of my left spatterdasli made longer.' 1745. Purefoy Letters. 'Paid for a pair of canvas spatterdashes for my Lord 91.' 1710. Household accounts ofthe F-arl of Thanet, Kent Archives.
Worn by soldiers and sometimes by civilians, with spurs, on horseback instead of boots. Sliort Spatterdashes barely reaching the calf and buttoned down the outside; often lacking stirrup straps; worn by rusties.
Methods ofwearing stockings
(1) Rollers, rollups, rolling hose, rolling stockings, were terms used to indicate that the stocking was drawn up over the breeches above the knee and then turned down in a flat roll over the garter which was fastened below the knee but generally hidden by the stocking.
Roflups were worn until the 1750's, especially by the elderly though the younger were beginning to discard the mode by 173 5 and by 1750 it had become very old-fashioned. 2 prs. mens grey Powling hose 13 I.' 1724. Accounts of R. Lawson of York.
(2) Breeches buckled over the stockings, from 1735, over- lapping the preceding style, from then to 1750 and on. Boot Stockings These were thick protective stockings worn inside jackboots over the ordinary stockings.
were lengths of woven silk or silk ferret or gold or silver braid, tied or buckled below the knee. Some were woven in designs, chequered (called 'diced') being a common form. 'A pair of silver garters buckled below the knee.'
THE THREE-CORNERED HAT
Called in the nineteenth century (but not in the eighteenth) the 'tricorne'. T6 was the outstanding shape; the brim was
21. Large cocked hat with button and loop, of the Kevenhuller style. Also shows deep tumed-down collar of the frock and solitaire round the neck. (1747.)
THE KEVENHULILER HAT WaS OfthiS STYIC: 'A laced hat pinched into what our Beaux have learnt to call the Kevenhuller Cock.' 1746. British Magazine.
SMALL COCKED HATS were fashionable in the 173o's, and I.ARC.E
COCKED HATS in the i74o's. The Dettingen Cock (from the battle Of 1743) was one of these high forms. Both styles over- lapped.
THE MONMOUTH COCK, with only the back turned up, was old-fashioned in the eighteenth century.
The way ofwearing these hats is thus described:
(a) Plain cocked bat. (1728.) (b) Hat with cockade. (1728.) (c) Hat with feather fringe and laced border. (1742.) (d) Dettingen cocked hat. (1743.) (e) High military cock and cockade. (1745.) (f) Laced hat (1745.) (g) Open cock. (1745.) (h) Kevenhuller cock. (174s.) (i) Large plain hat. (1745.) (j) Large laced hat, feather fringe, and bag-wig. (1745.)
In the last four (g), (h), (i), and (j), the high-tongued shoes are the military styles of the period.
THE ROUND HAT
This had a round crown and an uncocked brim. The brim might he rigid, as worn by the learned professions, or slouched, as worn by spirited youths or the common people. (At a theatre) .a parcel of the strangest fellows ... with gold laced hats slouched.' 173 8. London Evening Post. (Gang of disorderly youths) those who wore hats fiercely cocked and those who preferred the nab or trenehcr hat with the brim flapping over their eyes.' 1743. H. Ficiding,jonathan Wild.
Beaver, black or white (uncommon). A castor was a be-aver hat; a denii-castor was a hat made partly of coney and therefore considered inferior. 'He wears a laced hat with a smart pincli. 1 do not think a semi- castor with a fashionable edging a very gentlemanly kind of ornament.' 1705. Nicholas Powe, The Biter.
Beaverets, felts, and carolines (the latter being black). Straw was sometimes used for round hats in the country: 'Young Mr. Birch ordering a straw hat.'
Hat bands more often worn by servants in Uvery. Brim edgings of metal lace or braid: 'For some years past the use of gold and silver gauoon upon hats has been almost universal.'
While tvretched is the wit condemn'dforlorn, Whose giimtny hat no scarlet plumes adorn. I 717. John Gay, Trivia. 'The person wearing the feather. though our friend took him for an officer of the Guards, has proved to be an arrant Linnen draper.'
were round black caps with flat peaks in front; worn on horseback and occasionally otherwise by young sparks'. 'Set of Sparks who chuse rather to appear as jockeys and it is seldom or never they are to be seen without Boots, Whips ... and black Caps instead of hats ... in these dresses they come into the boxes at the theatre.'
NIGHTCAPS or MORNING CAPS
These were soft negligee caps worn over the shaven head, the wig being discarded. They were worn indoors with the night- gown or morning gown, for case and comfort. Similar caps were worn by artisans out of doors. 'A shoal of prentices in greasy woollen nightcaps seen in the streets.' 1735. Tricks Oftlic TO'vn. Two main styles (with individual exceptions):
(i) a round crown with a flat turned-up brim. The crown might be tall and topped with a large bow. The brim, close or saucer-hke, or divided in front and then generally faced with fu r.
(2) a shapeless crown with a rolled brim. This cap usually flopped on one side, with or without a decorative tassel. Worn from the 1730's on. Materials Linen, cot:ton-often striped, worsted, calico, flannel, dimothy, silk, velvet, verniilion.
Caps might he lined or interlined or quilted; some were 6ed and faced with fur. Embroidery was used in the first decade but seldom later. 'A grave ancient person in an embroidered cap and brocade niglit- gown.' 17I 3. The Guardian. Inventories sometimes listed day caps and nightcaps, the latter then referring to plain caps worn in bed.
, The wig replaced the natural hair almost universally in this first half of the century. Natural hair dressed to resemble a wig might be worn for economy, and the artisans wore their own hair rather long ifwithout a wig.
THE CAMPAIGN Or TRAVELLING WIG
In common use to c. 1750; going out of fashion in the So's and 6o's.
This was a three-tailed wig, often worn by men of middle age, quite apart from travellers. It was in the form of a bushy wig of wavy hair franiing the face from a centre parting, and continuing into a lock of hair on each side, usually turned up at the end and tied in a knot.
A short central curl fell behind on the nape of the neck. It was occasionally tied back for convenience by sportsmen and soldiers or when travelling on horseback.
THE BOB WIG
Worn by all classes and always an undress wig.
The Long Bob covered the neck.
The Short Bob exposed the neck. Both had a centre parting until the 1730'5; subsequently brushed back. The hair framed the face and ended in a roll curl or bushy wave round the back of the neck. Long bobs were very occasionally tied up with a ribbon bow.
THE NIGHT-CAP WIG was the form of bob with several roll curls encircling the back of the head from cheek to cheek. The term, of short duration, was mainly used from i7io-- 1712. 'Full bobs, ministers bobs'were thickland bushy being frizzed and not curled.
THE SCRATCH WIG (from c. 1740) was of minimum size convenient for sport, riding, or business.
THE CUT WIG also small and plain, mainly worn by artisans or riders. 'in a pale brown cut wig.' 1749. IPsitlichjourtial. THE NATURAL WIG
An notation of the natural head oflidr. 'Mr. Cowper liad a very liglit natural wig for 281.' 1718. Siy North Cotintry Diaries, Surtees Soc. qi
24. long. Side view. (I7IS-1720.) (h) Fun-hottoni S.) (c) Campaign wig showing knotted lock.
THE BAG-WIG,oftenknownmerelyastheBAG For dress and full dress. The queue was enclosed in a square black silk bag drawn in above by a running-string which was concealed by a stiff black bow at the nape of the neck.
THE PIG-TAIL WIG For undress but considered very smart. The queue was long and spirally bound or interwoven with black ribbon and generally tied with black ribbon bows above and below.- THE RAMILLKES WIG
Wom by officers of the Guards and smart young men a&ctin g a military air. The queue was a long-gradually diminishing-plait of hair tied with black ribbon bows above and below, or sometimes only below. THE CAXON
Undress. This was a tye wig, always of a pale flaxen colour or white. ... usually u@ore a white tie ...
Upon his head he wore a Gaxotl Ofhair as white as any Flaxen. 1728. Poern by jolui Byroin, East Anglian Notes& Queries, vol. V.
THE SPENCER not identified Fashionable man 'in a gold-laced hat, a spencer wig.' 1748. Sn'Ollctt, Roderick Random.
THE ADONIS wiG not identified 'I have seen a prim young fellow with a Cur or Adonis as they call the effeminate Wigs of the present Vogue, plaistcr'd rather than 94 powder'd and appearing like the twigs of a gooseberry bush in a deep snow.' 1734. The London Magazine or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer. 'He puts on a fme flowing Adonis or white periwig.' 1773. Pichard Graves. The Spiritual Quixote. Materials usedfor wigs Human hair, the most expensive. 'For a tied wig £7.1.0.' 1734. E.R.O. Mildmay Accounts. Horsehair 'A fine horsehair tye wig 1723. Private Accounts. R. Lawson of York. Goat's hair 'A goat's hair natural wig.'
Wigs were usually powdered white or grey; customary with gentlemen especially on 'dress' occasions. The powder had by law to contain starch though this was often omitted. 'Twenty peruke makers convicted of using hair powder not made of starch.' 1739. Pilborough's Colcitesterjourtial.
'A Pretty Fellow is known by his dress and behaviour. You may judge of his Intellects by the Powder in " wig, and " Capacity by the buckling in his shoe.' 173 5. Grub Streetjournal. Pot,vdering of Wigs The gentleman, wearing a powdering jacket (less often a powdering-gown) sat in a chair, protecting his face and eyes with a paper mask or funnel-shaped 'nosebag'; the barber, using a bellows or large powder-puff, enveloped his client's head in pow- der which adhered to the pomatum already applied to the wig.
'His wig had a pound of hair and two pounds of powder @i it.'
Clean-shaven throughout amongst all classes except soldiers who occasionally wore moustaches, and working-men who some- times had beards and moustaches.
ARTIFICIAL AIDS TO ELEGANCE The Beau took as much pains as the Belle to improve nature by art, using rouge for face and lips: tredning his lips and painting his nauseous phiz.' 1735-7. Tricks of the Totvn. Eyebrows were trimmed with a special brush and the face adorned with patches: ,. . . cv'ry pert Prig with a patch.'
25. High-topped gloves. Sword belt worn over waistcoat, unusual. Ver- @cal pocket-flaps, unusual. (1740-1745.)
These were worn by inen off and on through the century; medium or small until about 1730:
'The little muff that is now in fashion.'
'The grand distinguishing mark of a fine Gentleman is the wearing of a sword. Gentility displays itself in a well-fancied sword-knot.' 1754. The Connoisseur.
As such the sword continued from 1700 until the 1780's when it was gradually discarded except for ceremonial occasions. As a weapon of defence its place was being taken by the pistol. As a symbol of gentility it was being rivalled by the long cane, from about 1730. Sometimes both were carried. it was hung from a frog hooked to a sword belt worn under the waistcoat, or from a cut-steel sling hooked to the breeches waist- band behind the left pocket. The hook, which was flat, and curved, without points, was sometimes covered with leather to protect against rust.
The hilt protruded through the side vent ofthe coat. Sword hilts were often of gold or silver with elaborate work- manlip and sometimes inlaid witlijewels.
, usually called CANES
g, usually of malacca, From 1700 onwards. Canes, short or Ion were carried by beaux. The Heads were often very elaborate, being made of gold@ silver, agate, or amber. A 'clouded cane'-very common-was one ' h a clouded amber head. Heads might be made to unscrew, the wit cavity containing scent or a mirror. Some were adorned with figures: 'A silver head with the figure of the Tower of Babel upon it.' Ribbon streamers, generally black, were attached to the head. The.Ferrules might be made of silver.
Heavy Oak Sticks came into fashion in the 1730's. Some had elaborately carved heads and were as long as the canes.
Oaken Clubs or Cudgels
These were walking-stick length, and used by unfashionable men and artisans. During a phase in the 1730's for in-iitating their
26. (a) and (h) Canes with carved heads. (1738).
Method of carrying
Canes were (i) carried in the hand.
(2) tied to, or attached by a ring to, a coat button.
(3) slung by a loop to a fuiger.
jewellery was sparingly used, precious stones and metals being worn niaay in buckles, e.g. silver shoe buckles, diamond stock buckles, stone knee buckles, etc.
Diamond rings were worn by the beaux; brooches were rare: 'A brooch set with garnets that glittered in the breast of his shirt.'
These figured as a gentleman'sjewellery and were much prized. The watch itself was enclosed in a decorative case, sometimes made of tortoiseshell inlaid with gold.
The watch was carried in a fob pocket of the breeches waistband. A short watch-ribbon, threaded through the watch ring- handle, dangled outside, suspending seals and the watch key. Less often the watch was hung from a short gold, silver, or steel chain hooked to the breeches waistband. .Fob ribbons suspending as ornaments bunches of seals, were worn from i74o but were not common in the first half of the century as they were concealed by the length of waistcoat.
The toilet accessories required by the fniished Fop are detailed in the following bill, guaranteed by the Editor of The Female Spectator (1 743) to be genuine:
After 1730 the frock nearly always replaced the coat, and riding breeches were frequently niade of buckskin.
'A pair of Buck Breeches Huntsman £1 3 o.'E.R.O. D.DPC. F3S. Double-breasted coats or frocks were also worn on horseback. jackboots were usual;jockey caps optional.
SOI.DIERS on horseback 'With jack-boots and his liat cocked and a black wig tied behind him like a military officer.'
Many of the poorer classes dressed rnuch like the following description ofthe children at the Found6g Hospital:
'The boys have only one garment which is made jacket-fashion of Yorkshire serge ... their shirts lapping over their collar resembling a cape (i.e. flat turned-down collar). Their breeches hang loose a great way down their legs; instead of buttons is a shp of red cloth fur- belowed.'
| © Ragnar Torfason|
2005 January 28