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Dress breeches


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#1 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 12:40 AM

I am in the process of assembling my 'summer white tie' and want to wear breeches for this (I would wear the normal trousers for winter). I need to ask some questions on the nature of them.

What material could they be made from? I've heard that the same material as the coat, wool or silk (satin, barathea or grosgrain?) are all equally correct.

Knee closure: buttons (covered silk I assume) or buckles (silver/gold/black)? Or a combo of both? Also, should grosgrain bows be attached or is that at your own preference?

Thanks for any help.
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#2 NJS

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:32 AM

They should be made out of black evening cloth or stockinet (satin for hunt balls); with three black, covered buttons and a black strap and buckle. I have not seen that bows have recently made any appearance. In an age in which even events still described as balls have declined to 'lounge suits' and restaurant reviewers of top drawer restaurants caution that "jackets and ties are required", you are going to cut quite dash.
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#3 Noble Savage

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:23 AM

I am not sure if one should make a seasonal distinction for breeches vs. trousers, rather than one of formality, breeches being more formal.

Edited by Noble Savage, 03 January 2011 - 07:24 AM.


#4 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 09:27 PM

NJS: Don't you worry about the events in question (white tie is worn by many of my friends and I would be considered under dressed if I wore black tie!) Also, the bows on the leg I have seen on a few pictures plus an actual example:

Posted Image
Posted Image

NS: Yes, I know but any reason to wear them I will take/make!
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#5 NJS

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:12 PM

Fair enough, Charles.
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#6 Noble Savage

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 12:50 PM

NS: Yes, I know but any reason to wear them I will take/make!


Others may not be amused if they find your reason wanting.

Edited by Noble Savage, 04 January 2011 - 02:29 PM.


#7 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:06 PM

Wear a kilt, always appropriate :)
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#8 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:14 PM

Others may not be amused if they find your reason wanting.


Others are in the same picture...
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#9 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:14 PM

Wear a kilt, always appropriate :)


It would, if I were a Scotsman...
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#10 Noble Savage

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:40 PM

Please do post the pictures.

Edited by Noble Savage, 05 January 2011 - 05:13 PM.


#11 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:07 AM

Well, it seems I forgot to bid on a pair of court breeches on eBay (which went for 26!) so I am kicking myself... Thus, I must now resort to making them (another throwing of myself into the deep end)...

The barathea will come from Hainsworth, silk covered buttons, linings, etc from Richard James Weldon, buckles from Military Metalwork, and I've got the draft from Cutter's Guide so I'll be finished by the summer...
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#12 Noble Savage

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:12 AM

How do you deal with matching the coat?

Edited by Noble Savage, 06 January 2011 - 05:02 PM.


#13 Joe Zasada

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:11 AM

What kind of footwear will you be wearing with these breeches? Also what kind of a braid / stripe are you going to use on the sides?

#14 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 05:22 AM

braid / stripe


On breeches? Only dress trousers get braid

Only one shoe to wear with breeches....
Posted Image

I still say go with a kilt! and to make it official, Mr. Bingley, I, a gaidheal decendant of the great O'neill here by accept you into our fold and would consider it an honour to bestow you the gift of being accepted into my clan.

Here is our dress tartan, when you walk into a room you will be noticed :D
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Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#15 Noble Savage

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:11 AM

Attached File  AlternativeCourtDress.gif   38.88KB   59 downloads

Edited by Noble Savage, 07 January 2011 - 06:16 AM.


#16 PocketTriangle

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:49 AM

Yes, dancing pumps with a bow are also an option for breeches:

Posted Image



See also A History of Men's Fashion by Nicholas Storey for a picture of Churchill wearing breeches and pumps.

#17 NJS

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:07 PM

Attached File  AlternativeCourtDress.gif   38.88KB   59 downloads



Precisely.
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#18 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:58 AM

How do you deal with matching the coat?


Well, I will get a barathea that is as close to the barathea on my bodycoat. I've got swatches already and have found a very close match in weave and weight. Not the same but unless you're miscroscopic in your examination you would hardly notice.

What kind of footwear will you be wearing with these breeches? Also what kind of a braid / stripe are you going to use on the sides?


Opera pumps with bows. Breeches do not take braid.

On breeches? Only dress trousers get braid

Only one shoe to wear with breeches....
Posted Image

I still say go with a kilt! and to make it official, Mr. Bingley, I, a gaidheal decendant of the great O'neill here by accept you into our fold and would consider it an honour to bestow you the gift of being accepted into my clan.

Here is our dress tartan, when you walk into a room you will be noticed :D


See above replies. TBH, those shoes would look rather heavy on the slender line of the white tie ensemble: those Georgian buckle shoes were meant to be worn with long Georgian coats and waistcoats with wigs that would balance everything out. Since white tie etc descended from Regency dress so must the shoes of that period be used in this context.

As for the kilt, again, I would have no reason for wearing it unless I happen to go to Scotland one day and decide to be touristy as some sort of gimmick (and I am of the opinion that an Englishman wearing Scottish kilts is an absurd notion...) Plus, making a pair of breeches would cost me little compared to buying the full set of Scottish dress which will destroy my bank balance in one big swoop and be a complete waste of my money as per reasons above. I have more reason for wearing breeches than I do with wearing a kilt if questioned about it...
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