Whist we often exclaim at the extremities of dress for women over the centuries, men also had their oddities of fashion. Usually these oddities are referred to during discussions of the 18th century, when men wore a variety of weird-looking wigs and splendidly embroidered frock coats. However, the Regency Man also had his own peculiar style.
Thank you to Mike Rendell, from Georgian Gentleman, for this picture and a transcript of its contents!
The man seated on the left exclaims: “D__n it! I really believe I must take off my cravat or I shall never get my trowsers on….”
Then, to his right, “Charles” says: “Pon honour Tom you are a charming figure! You’ll captivate the girls to a nicety!!”
The half-dressed Tom, with his corset being laced up and one calf pad in place, replies: “Do you think so Charles? I shall look more the thing when I get my other calf on.”
The man standing on the chair, tying his cravat with both hands, is saying, “Dear me this is hardly stiff enough. I wish I had another sheet of Fools Cap”, to which the man looking at himself in the mirror replies, “You’ll find some to spare in my breeches.”
I can only imagine the hazards of dressing as a Gentleman Of Fashion at this time!
A Regency Man’s Essentials
The Regency man had several items about his person as he strolled about London.
A hat: Men wore a variety of hats during the Regency, depending on their station in life. Top hats were beginning to appear, though they were shaped a little differently to the Victorian top hats. Also used was the bicorn for military men.
A cane: The Regency cane’s were similar to the later Victorian canes, with a round moulded head.
A fob watch: If the gentleman was rich enough, he would wear a watch in his fob pocket at the front of his breeches. A little “tag” or embellishment would hang out of the pocket to advertise its presence, but also to enable the watch to be pulled out of the pocket with ease.
Gloves: Men carried gloves during the day, especially apparent when you examine paintings of the period, where every Regency man seems to be holding a pair of gloves in his hand. Gloves were essentials in the evening for women, so I presume this would also have been the case for men.
Stockings: Men wore long white stockings with their breeches. They would reach up above the knee and were sometimes tied with garters.
Shoes: Men either wore long boots during the day or slipper-type shoes for the evening.
My Regency Gentleman is now ready to be dressed! My last post in this series will be my Mr Knightley all dressed up!
To read all of these posts in order, go to My Regency Journey and look under MY Mr Knightley.
MY Mr Knightley – the introduction to this series of posts
Sources and Relevant Links
Georgian Gentleman – the blog
Long mens stockings suitable to this era are are hard to source, but I found some at Burnley and Trowbridge. Having them shipped to Australia was fairly reasonable as well!