Victorian clothing for men was the proper attire during the 19th century, beginning in the mid-1800s and ending in the early 1900s. Since then, this style of dress has been used as an inspiration for many fashion designers and couture clothing lines today. Victorian fashion has also made plenty of appearances in blockbuster films set during this popular era, such as “The Prestige,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “A Christmas Carol” and the “Gangs of New York.” Here is a list of essential clothing and accessories from the Victorian time period.
- Linen shirts. Men’s shirts were usually made from linen or cotton and had low collars, which were often turned down and worn with cravats or neckties. During the late Victorian fashion period, patterned shirts replaced the older single-color styles.
- Frock coats. Think of this as the modern lounge suit. Men during the Victorian era wore calf-length frock coats, often with a waistcoat or a vest, in many of the same situations in which you might wear a suit today. However, frock coats were also worn to informal events, but these versions were always single-breasted coats, as opposed to the more formal double-breasted style. Vests were typically single or double breasted with notched collars. For a night out on the town, a man would typically trade in the frock coat for a dark tailcoat and trousers.
- Trousers and breeches. Trousers were seen as proper attire for everyday events, whereas breeches were often worn for more formal occasions. Interestingly enough, breeches were also used for horseback riding, probably because they typically tapered off at the knee, making it easier to ride.
Neckties. Neckties worn during this period were typically wider and usually fashioned into a bow or worn in a loose knot fastened with a stickpin. Ascot ties, which consisted of a narrow neckband and wide pointed wings, eventually replaced the older Victorian styles and were often worn with three-piece suits. Ascot ties were usually patterned, folded over and fastened with a stickpin.
Top Hats. Commonly referred to as “toppers” back in the day, these tall, wide-brimmed, flat-crowned hats were a must during sunny weather. Top hats are still worn in some circles today, particularly among doormen, although, some choose to wear them as a fashion statement.