In the early 19th century, Regency Tailcoats were worn by most gentlemen of substance. These tightly tailored coats with high collars were available in a host of colors beyond black and charcoal including navy, burgundy and green. These were paired with fancy double breasted vests, fitted fall front trousers and lavishly tied cravats.
By mid century, coats were full skirted and more loosely tailored Frock Coats with broad lapels. These remained popular throughout the American Civil War. This Prince Albert Frock Coat could be found in double or single breasted style with plain or contrast velvet collars with a shawl or notch lapel. Fabrics and accents included wool, satin, silk, brocade and velvet.
The tailcoat and other fitted coats did not disappear from fashion. Cutaway, Swallowtail or Morning Coats were seen on gentlemen and grooms across the country. The full tailcoat remained in use for formal evening events.
By the latter half of the nineteenth century, shorter coats became more popular, particularly for daywear. These were known as Sack Coats or Town Coats and began as shorter versions of the Frock Coat.
By the end of the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the 20th (twentieth) century, coats were again tightly tailored. Edwardian styles have distinctive narrow lapels and high button collars with simple bow ties and rounded banker collar shirts.
Other types of outerwear worn in the Regency, Victorian and Edwardian eras included the overcoat, the trench coat and the shorter car coat. Also, the greatcoat was a fitting choice for inclement weather because the attached cape deflected rain, sleet and snow off the wearer’s shoulders. For milder weather, inspired by journeys south of the equator, safari coats made of light cotton duck and outfitted with cargo pockets became a popular pick for travelers.
We are delighted to offer this wide selection of fine 19th century gentleman’s coats and encourage you to visit our outfits page to see these garments as part of a complete ensemble. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.
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