Medium: Brown and white cotton and linen
Date: c. 1845
Credit: Museum purchase
As the simple wool of British country gentlemen gradually replaced French-inspired ornamental silk, the tailored suit became the uniform of 19th-century Europe's rising bourgeoisie. Men from all levels of society began to wear the suit, especially in the United States, as technical advancements in production allowed manufacturers to offer affordable, ready-to-wear versions. Custom-tailored ensembles remained the expensive province of the wealthy, and although increasingly rare, men were able to ornament their dark garb with colorful waistcoats, or opt for muted patterns, like the simple checked textile.
Object Number: P86.17.1