formal dress for upper- and middle-class Englishmen in the 1860s and '70s

Man's Headwear

The male figure holds a "tall silk or top hat," which remained standard "for formal day and evening wear" (Nunn, 143).

Man's Jacket

The man wears a frockcoat cut in the standard style. As Joan Nunn explains, "The cut of men's coats through this period changed from long sloping shoulders, tight waist and rounded hip to a straighter, longer-waisted, more masculine shape, and by 1875 shoulders began to be padded much as they are today. They were called at first 'American' shoudlers, and probably originated there, as a feeling for more casual and easier-fitting clothes certainly did . . . The frock coat continued as the basic coat style , correct for formal day wear" (140).

Man's Trouser

From the middle to the end of the century trousers varied a bit in length and shape. But whereas during the fifties they flared at the ankle, during the '70s they had a tubular shape and a substantial break.

Source of Image

Detail from "It Was A Tender Time" by George Du Maurier, an illustration of The Hand of Ethelberta, which appeared in The Cornhill Magazine, Vol. 32 (November 1875); complete plate .


Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume, 1200-2000. 2nd edition. Chicago: New Amsterdam Books, 2000.

Last modified 11 June 2001