Ivory Waistcoat
Waistcoat, 1790

The waistcoat originated as part of a suit in the late 17th Century, and many beautifully embroidered examples from the 18th Century can still be seen.

It is possible to reproduce these early waistcoats with modern brocades and sometimes Indian silks or by hand embroidery. Unfortunately this is a very long and expensive process.

However, by the 19th century, when dark suits became fashionable, the waistcoat, with its subtle differences and interesting fabrics was often the only chance a man had to show off his love of finery.

I enjoy the research into these slight changes in shape and style, and use it to make correct period waistcoats. Modern materials are often very successful for this item of clothing. I am currently working on a 1840’s waistcoat in blue moire for an education project for Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

I recently made a wedding coat c.1830 in green wool, and a wonderful silk brocade waistcoat to go under it. The suit can be seen on the weddings page, but unfortunately nothing of the waistcoat is visible!