An elusive detail of early 1900s mens fashion

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Wolfmanjack, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Wolfmanjack

    Wolfmanjack Practically Family

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    Here is an elusive detail of early 1900?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s fashion that I have always wondered about, but never had anyone to ask. Now I have my colleagues at The Fedora Lounge as a resource!

    The item I am referring to is a white, starched cotton or linen lining/piping around the front neck area of a gentleman?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s vest. I am led to understand that this was very much a social-status symbol, worn only by upper-class gentlemen. Here is a detail from a portrait of President Woodrow Wilson Wearing one of these:

    [​IMG]

    Can anyone tell me what this thing is called? Does anyone know how these were attached to the vest? Am I correct that they were made of starched cotton or linen? Where could I get one? How could I make one?

    I think this is a very ?¢‚ǨÀúspiffy?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ little detail that would lend a very distinguished touch to an early 1900?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s outfit.
     
  2. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    That is a waist-coat slip. They were originally made as actual white vests of linen or flannel which were worn underneath another waist-coat to keep out the cold, they later became a stylistic detail which was emulated by button in or attached white edging on waist-coat neck-lines to give the fashionable or stylistic impression of an actual waist-coat slip being worn beneath without the increased warmth which they inevitably afforded (this was especially reasonable for those who had to have "the look" but did not enjoy the heat).

    Cheers!
     
  3. Close to the vest

    I had noticed these and just assumed it was piping. This is one of the most interesting things I've read in the Lounge. Thanks!
     
  4. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

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    I'll second that. Does anyone have one of these in their collection who could give us a few images of the "working details"?

    "Skeet"
     
  5. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    [QUOTE="Skeet" McD]I'll second that. Does anyone have one of these in their collection who could give us a few images of the "working details"?

    "Skeet"[/QUOTE]

    They're beyond easy to make sir. Go to your local fabric supplier, get a bit of white or more preferably, just-off-white coloured (ivory coloured?) flannel (to contrast a bit with the white shirt with which you will be wearing this as it is a garment more usually seen with more formal clothing) and a bit of cheap half-bleached muslin (not the ultra bleached, and not the raw, un-bleached sort either), get yourself a basic pattern, or simply copy one of your own well-fitting waist-coats (preferably the one which you will most often be wearing your waist-coat slip beneath) and trace out the pattern from your vest onto some large sheets of tracing or butcher paper (I usually use tracing as it is more versatile in these sort of things if you need to put a piece over something to trace it instead of tracing around the traced object), after having made your basic pattern, make sure that when worn, the neck-line of your waist-coat slip is marginally higher than that of the vest under which you will be wearing it, a quarter to an eighth of an inch should be fine though a quarter is more likely to remain visible at all times. If you want just a bare minimum of your slip to show (oh my! Sir, you slip is showing!) you can even sew button-holes; two to either side of the front fastening along the neck-line and usually the waist-coat slips are made with a square or flat bottom edge so as not to unfashionably and tastelessly peek out from the bottom of the waist-coat. So yes, the muslin should be used to interline the waist-coat and provide its back and the flannel should be used for the front (though linen looks quite nice too when it is in a fine suiting weight and not that coarse dross that is sold at most fabric and crafts stores) look to a fabric seller who specializes in suitings such as B. Black & Sons of Los Angeles. The entire waist-coat may even be made of flannel if you like or are particularly sensitive to the cold. Also, if you have trouble sewing button-holes or don't know how to do it, any tailor should be able to do this for you....Though, they will probably charge you too much....Look at between three and seven a button-hole depending upon where you live, and how much of a crook your tailor is. The project itself is extremely easy. Just remember to hem the edges of the fabric and even if the entire outer shell of the waist-coat slip is flannel to line it with muslin as this will keep it from over-heating you. Also make allowances for the hems and seams. When completed, you will also have to sew corresponding buttons under the edge of the outer waist-coats neck-line. Enjoy and good luck!

    Cheers!
     
  6. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

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    Dear Evan,
    Thank you for taking the time to write out such a good description, which is certainly very easy to follow. I always like to examine original garments whenever possible, however...as the devil is in the details, and many things which "they" did as a matter of course don't naturally occur to us.

    So...now that we have such good instructions, I repeat: anyone out there have one of these in their collection? Can we see, too?

    "Skeet"
     
  7. There's a vintage clothing store in Burbank, CA --"Junk for Joy"-- that used to import vintage Japanese menswear (ironic but true). They brought in a ton of Japanese inverness capes, morning coats, striped trousers and waistcoats. The waistcoats were mostly from the 1950s and '60s, but they all had white slips, which were buttoned onto mother-of-pearl buttons sewn on the inside edge of the vest. Wish I'd taken photos back then!


    Here's a pic of some other waistcoat. You can see a button or two on the part of the slip that's at the back of the neck:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    In action!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    A little off topic (on my part) but, I got a Gorgeous 2X6 DB ivory twill woolen scoop-neck waist-coat with ivory buttons with a rolled edge and barely visible (under the rolled edge) gold wire lining on the buttons with two waist-pockets from Junk For Joy some years ago! They have great stuff here and there but they're devils about buying at times and most of the stuff is absolute rubbishy polyester! UGH!!!

    I wish that I'd seen the slipped waist-coats! Dang! I'll have to head back there some time soon! Spot on Marc, as Always!

    I'm going to have to check for striped trousers too!
     
  10. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    I'm off topic here (again) but, Charles is usually dressed alright as to the actual garments, but the way that he wears them is sometimes so appalling! He lacks any actual style in the way that he wears his garments. He is not a stylish man and a gentleman is after all differentiated from an ordinary man by the way in which he wears his garments. I think a lot of those garments were inherited or his tailors picked out and designed them en toto.

    I can't stand the man! He just strikes me as rather vapid and lax in most things. Come on! He showed up in a morning coat with a crease ironed into the front of the sleeve! It's just WRONG! The clothes looking like they are new is beyond tasteless.

    This said, the slip is rather nice and good pic of one!
     
  11. Thanks, Evan! It took years, but "Junk for Joy" finally sold out of the waistcoats. I saw only one still there a few months ago, in a very small size. I went back recently: it was gone. :(


    There might be a few striped trousers left. Since they were from Japan, the sizes ran small.



    .
     
  12. He's imitating a style from the heyday of Earl Mountbatten, his mentor. It's not so much wrong as outdated. Then again, so are slips. ;)

    .
     
  13. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    [​IMG]
    Sir Tomas Talbot Leyland Scarisbrick in 1914 in Morning Wear with a waist-coat slip, spats, a cut-away frock-coat and spatterdashes or button top Balmorals (I can't tell in this photograph). Good show and good chap! (interestingly, he's wearing turn-ups: cuffs, on his trousers! WHOA!)
     
  14. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    ........
     
  15. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    All of his coats are pressed that way. That's how he rolls. It's a military thing, going back centuries. They've been doing it on Savile Row since day one.
     
  16. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    You can do it to modern coats, but it takes the weight of a military one to really cary the crease. I myself prefer the look. Yet not being a gentleman might be the cause.

    I have a morning suit from 1914.. Unfortunately, no slip for the vest. Yet still a good looking outfit!
     
  17. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    (ARGH! I'm still off topic!) Has someone set up a Prince Charles: Like or Dislike thread? They should!

    Yes, you get the suit like that, but it looks too prissy and stiff to keep them like that. In this instance, I have to agree with what Fred Astaire did. He literally beat the newness out of his clothes. Wearing anything which is too pristine, meaning that it looks like it has never been worn or worn into the personality of the wearer is rather gauche in my opinion. The military for parade and such is one thing, they have no choice, but he's a lax nobleman who does next to nothing!

    Maybe it's just me because he rubs me the wrong way as far as anything else with him, but I don't particularly like his style or the fact that everything looks so over-pressed. It looks like he's trying too hard.

    I've just started a discussion thread on old Chazzy-boy:

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=45652
     
  18. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I really don't think that you have a very accurate handle on the DoW.



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
     
  19. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Call Me a Cab

    Fixed that for you.
     
  20. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Thanks. :eek:
     

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