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Posts Tagged ‘fashion history in men’s clothing’

Excessive dress vs. toned-down attire. Left image from Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume & Style. Right image from Survey of Historic Costume.

Just now English clothing is all the wear. Rich man’s son, sprig of nobility, counter-jumper – you see them dressed all alike in the long coat, cut close, thick stockings, puffed stock; with hats on their heads and a riding-switch in their hands. Not one of the gentlemen thus attired, however, has ever crossed the Channel or can speak one word of English … No, no, my young friend. Dress French again, wear your laces, your embroidered waistcoats, your laced coats; powder your hair to the newest tune; keep your hat under your arm, in that place which nature, in Paris at any rate, designed for it, and wear your two watches, with concomitant fobs, both at once. 

Louis-Sebastien Mercier (1740-1814), French dramatist and writer. This quote is from The Waiting City: Paris, 1782-1788.

In the last 25 years of the eighteenth-century, Anglomania was all the rage in French fashion. Both men and women had grown tired of the French excessive look and turned to the simpler styles of the British. Frenchmen appreciated in particular the excellence in British tailoring and except for appearances at court, they adopted a more casual mode of dress.

 

 

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