Regency men’s clothing can be described as a departure from the classic style of the period. It’s been said that Queen Victoria took a dim view of her granddaughter’s clothes and demanded that their designers designed clothes in a more feminine, less flamboyant style. The result was a whole line of men’s clothing for the aging royals that emphasized form and function above everything else. Today, we look back on this long standing tradition with nostalgia and fond memories.
Fashion of the period was originally defined by the work of such men as Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Archibald Austin, two leading lights in the fashion world of the day. They were keen on emphasizing style and ornamentation over design, an approach that stands firm even today when modern fashion is dominated by overly busy designs. Some of the most popular pieces of regency clothing include the double-breasted suits, dark suits and the double-buttoned coat, which all have a distinctive air of authority and style.
Double Breasted Suits
Double Breasted Suits One of the most popular styles of the time, double-breasted suits were designed to be comfortable for both the wearer and those around him. A classic style that never goes out of style, these suits feature one or two large buttons along the breast pocket and one below the jacket collar. These coats have always been very formal and it wasn’t until recently that they adopted a more relaxed and casual feel.
Dark Wear Another favorite style of the era was the black, navy and gray combination. Made from the finest quality wool, these coats featured big pockets on the front and had angled slits at the cuffs. They were designed to complement the style and height of the wearer and were also waterproof. Like the double breasted, they were often laced up the arms with a broach pin. They were also often complemented with wingtip hats and cufflinks.
The Crest And Brush Cut
The Crest and Brush Cut It was in the late teens and early twenties that regency men adopted the classic brush cut. This style was originally a reaction against the fashionable cut of the previous century which had been swept away by the arrival of machine made clothes. The regency wardrobe still incorporated many traditional design elements such as the wide belt, the double button front and tailgate, the double buttoning on the jacket and the collars and cuffs. Though never officially considered a style, the brush cut nevertheless made an impact on modern men’s fashion.
Button Up Coats With their double breasted designs, it is no wonder that the button-down coat was so very popular during the Regency Period. Able to provide warmth and protection against the cold, these coats were designed to be very durable and functional. Originally made from heavy wool, these coats were always quite slim fit. With the advances in manmade materials and fashion during the Victorian period, the coat slowly evolved into what we know today, a stylish and fashionable men’s coat.
English Tailcoat One of the most recognizable pieces of regency men’s fashion, the English tailcoat is also often referred to as the ‘cape hat’. Though rarely worn in the winter, this style was always a staple in the Regency wardrobe. Similar in style to the long sleeved coat, the coat was originally created as an overcoat.
However, with the changes in material and manufacturing techniques, the Cape Hat became more than just an overcoat. With a peaky brim, solid cowl neck and a slightly rounded collar, it became one of the most popular and desirable styles of men’s fashion.
Formal Jackets As previously mentioned, the Regency era was marked by the rise in popularity of formal clothing. Though it is not exactly known how the styling of these jackets changed over time, it is safe to say that jackets became much dressier and trendier during the Victorian era. Many of the patterns and cuts that were seen in earlier fashions were replaced during the Regency period; giving jackets a refined and classy look that is now synonymous with the term ‘formal attire’.
Though rarely seen in public, the regency style of jacket was often seen in film and television dramas, theatre performances and more. The traditional style of the jacket still remains popular with men today.