A New Tailcoat! Part 1.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is soon here. In fact, the date is coming closer at an alarming speed. I am talking about The Season. It is THE event for any person with the slightest interest in the Regency/Empire-period. Three days of music, dancing, and picnics in beautiful Stockholm. The highlight is a ball with live music and delicious dining in a lovely setting. Now, gentlemen are always scarce, so it is only my duty to make an effort, despite being an old married man and all. So, with only a fortnight to go, I have decided to brush off my tailoring skills and make a new tailcoat.

Photo by Regencygentleman

There is nothing wrong with the coat I made last year – the swallow tail, with a curved front, remember? However, the typical Regency style coat – with double-breasted front, cut straight off, and large lapels – would be a welcome addition to any Regency-wardrobe, wouldn´t it? Mine in particular… I am usually not a great admirer of double-breasted jackets (lot of material that creates bulk, and the buttons accentuate a horizontal proportion that can make the wearer – ever so lean – look short and stout). I will have to experiment with the placement of the buttons (self-covered, I think), to achieve more elegant proportions.

Over to my main source of inspiration: fashion plates and portraits from about 1805-1815. There are so many to choose from, but here is a small selection, showing outfits for daytime and evening. You have to admit the coats look darn good!

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This smart gent and the two below are dressed for morning or daytime. Replacing the boots with stockings and shoes makes the outfit more formal.

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Full dress, something you´d wear for a dinner party or ball. Bicorne instead of top hat.

Costume Parisien

Notice that they all have a fairly narrow space between the buttons. It could be possible to wear these coats unbuttoned without being hindered by unflattering amounts of fabric, weighed down by the buttons. The tails are short, they don´t reach the knee. The long, fitted sleeves are gathered at the shoulders (which makes fitting them easier). The shoulders are narrow. (Too broad shoulders cut like a modern suit loses some of the Regency look.)

A couple of portraits and an extant garment:

1815 William Owen Portrait of a Man and his Dog wikipaintings.org

Country stroll 1. Impeccably dressed. Portrait of a Man and his Dog, William Owen, 1815

 

Portrait-of-Count-Andrey-Bezborodko, Robert Lefevre,

Country stroll 2: Portrait of Count Andrey Bezborodko, Robert Lefevre, 1804.

Extant 1815 Kerry Auctions

And the real thing: a rare, extant garment, ca 1815. Sold at Kerry Auctions.

Material: This terrific moss-green wool is perfect. The day I found it I was a bit reluctant to spend any money, so I purchased only 2,5 metres (three yards). That means I will have to take great care when cutting the pieces. In our stash I found a bolt of dark linen that is perfect for lining, and odd pieces of heavier linen for interlining. Guterman’s silk thread in colour 02776.

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Pattern: I will use my toile from last year, with some additional drafting on the front and lapels. The two patterns below will be useful: Norah Waugh´s The Cut of Men’s Clothes and the one from the Danish Tidens Toj. They are found online.

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2 thoughts on “A New Tailcoat! Part 1.

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