Slate blue ribbed silk coat or sleeved waistcoat, with profuse, finely worked, metal thread embroidery down fronts, and around pockets, cuffs, and back pleats. Embroidery in a variety of coiled, couched, satin, and backstitch infills with chain stitch borders; in stylised scrolling floral and fruit motifs. Lined cream linen and faced with matching blue silk. Formerly in the collections of Castle Howard Costume Galleries.
The eighteenth century monied male was often a peacock, eager to display his taste and wealth, and fond of lavishly decorated or patterned fabrics, and bright striking colours. The usual outfit remained the three piece suit of coat, waistcoat and breeches until 1800, when trousers began to replace breeches. Fashionable suits were usually plain woollen facecloth for practical urban or rural wear; woven silks for more formal evening occasions; and highly trimmed and embroidered silk satins and velvets for court wear. Waistcoats were sleeved until the 1740s, then sleeveless as today, and they were often embroidered to match the coat. Looser banyans or gowns were worn for relaxing in the home, when the wig would be replaced by a comfortable "nightcap". Working men wore jackets and waistcoats of hard-wearing fustian (cotton and linen mix) or wool, with breeches of leather or later cheap cotton corduroy, "thicksett" or velveret.
centre back: 80cm
© Manchester Art Gallery