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Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – Men

Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – Men


The eighteenth-century gentleman would
balance the fashion for wearing wigs by being clean-shaven. He wore a long linen nightshirt in bed and a Banyan or wrapper over it after getting up. Such a
garment would also serve as an informal indoor coat and would be worn about the
house over shirt waistcoat and breeches. Both types of garment reflect British interests abroad. The wrapper was Japanese in influence, while the Banyan was based on an Indian gown. The shirt opened with a small vertical
slit at the neck, which was sometimes disguised with ruffles. The shirt was full, with voluminous sleeves and square shaped gussets under the arms to allow for ease of movement. Stockings came up and over the knee and were held in place by the knee band on the breeches. The gentleman would select his accessories
according to the occasion. Selecting shoe buckles of steel for everyday wear or silver perhaps, set with precious stones or glass paste for special occasions. The shirt cuffs were usually fastened with a pair of cuff buttons, linked with a chain. A gentleman might wear linen under drawers, but since the shirt was cut with
long tails so that it would tuck neatly around the groin for comfort drawers
were not essential. The knee breeches were cut full at the back and were
gathered into the waistband with a laced vent to allow the wearer to sit or ride
more comfortably. They fastened at the front waist with buttons and the fall
flap performed the function of the modern fly. Breeches usually had at least one pair
of pockets. The breeches closed the side of the knee
with buttons. And the knee band was closed with buttons. buckles or ties just
beneath the knee. Suit waistcoats were made either to match or to contrast with
the coat. The top few buttons would be left undone to allow the shirt ruffles to show. Although the pocket buttons were placed below the pocket flap, suggesting
that it was just for show, the pockets were in fact functional. The shirt collar
was soft and closed with tapes or buttons and the gentlemen would wear a
fine linen cravat or stock over it. Men’s shoes were buckled across the top
of the foot. The stock was made of pleated linen and fastened at the back
of the neck with a buckle. A gentleman would have owned at least two wigs so
that one could be dressed while the other was worn, but would probably have
had a number of styles to choose from. He would have worn a wrapper to protect his
clothing and a mask to protect his face while the wig was being dusted. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch scented with orange flower or
lavender. It also came in many colours including grey, brown, black, or white. It was even available in blue. It was applied by the means of puffers, shakers,
or miniature bellows. A black bow would be tied at the back of the neck to
control the wig tail or ‘Q’. Men’s formal dress suits consisted of three garments:
breeches, waistcoat, and coat. They could be made of matching or contrasting
fabrics; of silk, linen or wool. Left plain or decorated with metal braid or
embroidery and sequins. A suit of three identical pieces was known as a Ditto Suit. A gentleman’s coat fitted smoothly across the chest and back and widened
into a skirt with pleats at the side seam. It was usually worn unbuttoned. The coats centre-back vent allowed the skirts to be swept aside for sitting or riding. The open side vents allowed a ceremonial sword to emerge.


Reader Comments

  1. It seems like people were cringe then. I'd feel like an ass having some dude take off my robe and wash my ass.

  2. Wow they used to wear clothes like royal kings. Very elegant. Was it uncomfortable? How did they wash it? Was the wig itchy?

  3. Thank God I was born in 2001, so that I don't have to spend hours to get dressed. 😅

  4. I would have a heat stroke ! I dint even wear a coat in the winter when its -47 f , come spring everyone around here knows that in the spring its t shirt and shorts weather when it hits 40 f

  5. Be sure to send him to your nearest College or University to boost your research rates.
    t. Empire Total War player

  6. Impressed with these two actors. No lines/dialogue but found their performances very convincing & authentic. The actor portraying the aristocrat is quite good looking, nice bod & offbeat sexy. Assuming this was British production & Brit actors.

  7. I don't believe anymore that alien life exists anywhere else in space. If it did, the aliens would have already conquered us while we were busy dressing up as faggots.

  8. I'm so stinking rich I have to hire someone to help me get dressed in my finery. I challenge that smug scoundrel to a duel.

  9. It was uncommon for men to use servants to help get dressed. Thats why mens and womens' buttons are on different sides. Women's clothes were made to make it less awkward for someone else to button.

  10. He’s dismissive and condescending to his manservant now, but in the presence of Amadeus Mozart or Benjamin Franklin he acts like a total obsequious bitch.

  11. Man, after seeing this, Ohhh do I feel so under dressed when my girlfriend a I go out for cocktails during the summer.  Me, I wear a long sleeved shirt with a nice pair of jeans. Always wear dress shoes, unless we go to the beach; hence I would wear a nice, tight fitting T-shirt, accompanied with  loose fitting Safari shorts.  They shall be worn with Surfing shorts,  case we might jump in the water for a remarkable swim…

  12. British makes a big show out of daily life tasks. This is bullshit. Good thing these buggars went extinct with their stupid royal bullshit.

  13. Every time I watch this I think of George Washington and how his daily dressing routine would've been like and also evolve from Britsh attire to new evolving American gentlemen attire.

  14. This kills me….A valet dresses you! Not a butler. A butler runs your household, he's above putting clothes on someone. And, yes, I can hear how snobbish I sound😜

  15. I never understood Europeans illogical means to get dressed in those times. It’s impractical, hot and just looks uncomfortable. Meanwhile in Japan or China you could practically wear silk or soft robes and sweatpants.

  16. “I mean, you know where you got that shirt. And it damn sure wasn't the men's department.” -Charlie Murphy

  17. Really really good!
    Does someone know if there is a video about the dressing of a men in the working class in the 18th century?

  18. My oh my how flamboyant was the gentleman lifestyle lmao. Today we as far as possible from that unless it's drag

  19. I could never imagine not doing that all myself, for I do a better job on myself than anyone else ever could. However, that valet is given a paying job, so it's a win-win.

  20. I wonder if the term "get dressed" was derived from this occasions, while people would mostly get assisted to wear their own dresses. As in other language to wear a dress is usually in an active verb instead of a passive one ( or get it done for you).

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