The Sporting Origin of Tailored Garments
Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:26 AM
If you look at TV shows from the 1950-70s people commonly wear lounge coats informally at home, even when playing cards with the boys, or just to go out to buy the newspaper. There was a time when wearing a lounge coat to do the gardening or mow the lawns was hardly all that extraordinary. Here is one gentleman who continues to do just that:
He has been dressing that way since the 1930s and sees no reason to change. People today stare with amazement but in it you can clearly see how the lounge coat has crept up the formality scale over the years. Even in the article to follow by James Laver, he notes that by 1953 the lounge coat had already become "too formal for the country".
The real concern is that in the past there was always a sportier garment to replace the older fashion along each station in the pecking order of formality. Today, we have the lounge coat and after that - nothing. Once it passes over into formal dress, and then livery or period costume that may well spell the end of tailored clothing. You can already see with every few years that passes by that the lounge coat is beginning to be looked upon increasingly as formal attire for extraordinary occasions.
Once upon a time a gentleman could spend his whole waking hours in tailored clothes - including the bespoke silk house coat (dressing gown). Vincent's CPG contains patterns for coats intended for labourers. Today, tailored garments play an increasingly marginal role in the day to day lives of most people. If there is a message from history then it is that if tailor is to have a future it must come from the stable of sporting attire. Perhaps then there is some urgency in reconnecting with the fashionable sporting roots of tailored clothing.
Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:27 PM
We must not just discard out-dated garments but also re-evaluate their history with each new discovery.
Edited by NJS, 18 May 2011 - 09:42 PM.
Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:43 PM
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:20 AM
Was there a reason for the tails on the naval tailcoats of 1748, or was it just a fashion element to make them look something like court dress, since it was for officers only ?
It was only for officers and it was a long time before the ordinary seamen got uniforms, despite the fact that the Royal Navy is the 'senior service' of the armed forces. As to whether the court or the navy got there exactly first, may be a moot point, although full skirts on coats, outside the service, certainly persisted until later in the century and the naval coats, in their cutaway, backward sweep were obviously influential in the standard, modern morning coat. I think that influence of the horse is presented without balance or regard for all the evidence (Sator mentions military influence). It's a bit like that other major myth: that gentlemen withdrew after dinner and changed into smoking suits to smoke their cigars in the den: it is clear that the ladies withdrew (to the [with]drawing room), after dinner and before the port, brandy and cigars were brought to the dining room for the men. Moreover, men would not have worn smoking suits in someone else's house: that has always been the prerogative of the host.
Edited by NJS, 19 May 2011 - 08:47 AM.
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Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:22 PM
I feel like telling the man on the red lawn mower to change into his play clothes.
Those are his play clothes. When he gets serious it is on with the pin stripe and the fendora...
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