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Victorian gentlemans clothing, where to find information?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by nihil, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    I know the subject isn't strictly FL material. But since there are so many knowledgeable persons here, I thought that perhaps someone could point me in the right direction.
    I've become very much in love with the later part of the Victorian era, and would therefore like to assemble a proper set of clothes for that period.
    After looking around myself, I've come to the conclusion that it's quite difficult to find any outfitters who offer accurate Victorian clothes. Gentleman's Emporium is a fun shop, but the products do look quite inaccurate. They even use 100% polyester fabrics for some of their suits. Yikes!
    I'm therefore looking for two things:
    1. Direction as where to find good information about gentlemens clothing of that era, be it books, websites, blogs, or forums.
    2. Suggestions as to where I can find an reasonably accurate sack coat suit. It seems to me, that a good execution of this particular style, wouldn't make the completed ensemble look too out of place, compared to a set based around a frock coat or cutaway coat.

    I've been looking at this book in particular: http://www.amazon.com/Fashion-Illustrations-Century-Dover-Costumes/dp/0486263533 but since the illustrations are so old, it would seem there is a chance that the images and information can be found freely available on the Internet?
  2. I can help you with stuff like accessories, jewellery and stuff like that. Send me a private message about your questions or concerns surounding your first question ("information about men's clothing of the era?") and I'll help answer your question. I've done a lot of reading about stuff like that.
  3. Here are a few sites that night help you out on that path.

    River Junction Traders

    Premier Designs Historic Clothing

    Those are a couple of good sites to start with. I know of one Western Mercantile that has some really nice stuff I just can't recall the name of it off hand. They had a really neat tweed frock coat that I've wanted for some time.

    Hope this helps you out to start with.


  4. Brevetti

    Brevetti New in Town

    I also have a bit of an interest in the turn-of-the-century era. While looking for information on the fall of the frock coat, I came across this website: http://ushist.com/victorian_mens_clothing_f.shtml

    In the site's menswear section, they offer made-to-order sack suits. I can't speak for period accuracy, though they are supposedly reproductions. It looks like a very fine product. I'm not really sure if they're cut with the high armholes and other details that the Fedora Lounge endorses, but then again, I don't think the early sack suits were as structured and well-tailored as the clothing of the Golden Era. These sacks are made of pure wool, and look like quite a step up from the stage props offered by Gentleman's Emporium.

    I'd love to read a full review of the suit, if you were to choose this route.
  5. What we need to know is what kind of enssemble you're trying to put together.

    Casual? Everyday? Semiformal & smart? Full-formal? There's a huge difference between Victorian street-casual, a suit, and white tie and tails.
  6. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

  7. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    Thank you for all the replies :)

    To be very specific, then I'm looking for British city clothing from the era. A suit that would be worn in the daytime for business and the like.
    I envision it something along the lines of a charcoal three piece sack suit, a proper shirt and either the early type tie worn with a four in hand, or the bow tie looking item, that was worn underneath the shirt collar. Cuff links, double Albert watch chain, and a hat when I have decided on a style that I think would look good on me.
    I'm a bit at a loss about the shirt, as I don not know exactly which style I should go for, nor where one such can be acquired.
    Footwear is of course also in question, but it's much further down the line. And for that particular item, Gentleman's Emporium seem to have a reasonable selection of accurate period footwear?
  8. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    Double post - The delete post function seems to be out of order.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  9. If you want something which is going to look period accurate and be of good quality you will need to cough up rather a lot of money I'm afraid. I know that these people make good reproductions: http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalogue/mencost1885-1910.html.
    This place seems to offer a good deal, but I've never been able to get in contact with them through their email: http://www.waltontaylor.com/welcome.html
  10. Personally I'm not sure if I'd follow the RDJ films as being representative of the Victorian era.

    To Nihil, I replied in detail to the message you sent me. Hopefully that answers the questions you had. If it didn't or if you have more, you're welcome to message me back. I included information about shirts since you seemed particularly interested in those.
  11. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I remember a tailoring book or magazine from that era was posted here but I couldn't open it. Can't find the thread because I don't remember the name. Did you try google books and the year you are looking for?

    What's wrong with a ten dollar book? It's cheap enough if you ask me. And it is about mens fashion...the later volumes are always mixed stuff and contain a lot more for women.
  13. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    Flat Foot Floey, no not at all. But from what I can gather, the book is about American fashion of the period. I'm looking for information on British fashion of the era. And since I know quite little about the details, I'm a little weary of purchasing the book.

    Very interesting information about the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie. I also had the impression that they had modernized it quite a bit in regards to costumes. But perhaps this is because many of the Victorian era clothes really aren't that far removed from the modern gentleman's wardrobe. A suit is roughly a suit, a cravat is a cravat, tweed is tweed, and so on.
  14. Right up my alley!! hi there, same here been into this for ages, first you must be patient, it can take a while to gather what you want, bear in mind men of this period were generally smaller so genuine stuff will be small, that's good because most guys are not now!! it’s all natural fibres cotton, wool, silk, try https://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/
    http://www.victorianlondon.org/ http://www.costumegallery.com/men.htm and of course markets. Warning!! don't rush, don't buy cheap crap, it will look awful and try to find some one who alters and repairs good luck, you can always pm me
  15. nihil

    nihil One of the Regulars

    Thank you for your input :)

    I've decided to do this slightly backwards, and acquire the other items than the sack suit, first. The four in hand tie and double watch chain is easy enough, but I'm quite uncertain when it comes to the shirt. As for which features and designs that are appropriate?
    And if anyone can point me in the direction of a batswing/narrow ribbon bow tie, I would be very pleased.
    With my height, there is no chance I can find original items of clothing that fits.
  16. Gin&Tonics

    Gin&Tonics Practically Family


    These are a far less expensive version of the spectator spat boots linked by a previous poster. They even come in brown/taupe if you are so inclined! They seem pretty decent given the reviews, and gents emporium also has plain black and brown ankle boots which look quite lovely.

    I have purchased several items from Gentlemans Emporium and so far been quite satisfied. You just have to be careful to know what you're buying and avoid the polyester stuff if you don't want that. They have more waistcoats than you can shake a stick at, and some of them are 100% wool quality stuff.
  17. I know that this isn't related to the intent of the thread poster, but in your opinion, do you think some of these Victorian style waistcoats could work with more modern suits as well? I think many of them look nice, but maybe it calls for the whole look in general.
  18. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I don't think they work with a modern grey or blue business suit.

    But I think you could wear one of the cotton canvas waistcoats with your leatherjacket/chino combos.

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