What Did Men Wear in the 1800’s?

Men in the 1800s wore trousers, hats, neckties and coats. Men also wore evening suits, walking suits and sporting suits.The type of clothing worn depended on the time of day and surrounding events.

Men wore evening suits for special occasions, such as dinner parties or balls. Black and white were the only appropriate colors, and the suit needed to have simple buttons. The only form of uniqueness allowed was in the necktie. The shirt worn was usually white, and gentlemen wore white gloves. A simple white necktie was required for operas, dinners and balls. A black tie was appropriate for evening parties. Gloves were not required in the country, and men tucked the gloves in their pockets.

Men wore hunting attire that included spurs for the boots and a dark-colored riding coat. Red was the preferred color for regular coats, and breeches and waistcoat were usually light in color and made of fine material. Any caps worn were typically velvet in dark green or black. The outfit was completed with a scarf that was usually held in place with a pin.

Walking suits were often made of tweed and accessorized with light gloves, plain boots, a small tie, a walking cane and a black hat. The frock coat was usually loose and was never buttoned. Great coats were longer than frock coats, and men typically buttoned them down.

During the 1800s, men’s fashion became more conservative with greater emphasis on darker shades. Velvet and silk were replaced by leather and plain cloth. Breeches reached the ankle and coats with high collars appeared. The top hat fell out of fashion as more men began wearing tricorn hats. Black low-heeled riding boots were very popular, as were laced shoes.

After the French Revolution, it was no longer seen as appropriate for democratic citizens to elevate themselves through the bright colors and flamboyant styles of the dandy, hence the shift towards more somber and restrained fashions.

Fashion for men and women in the 1800s rose in response to the extravagance and decadence of the prior century. The Industrial Revolution began during the late 18th and early 19th century across England and Europe, making textiles cheaper and easier to produce.