Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Men! Their clothes, their beards and the ladies who love them...or not!


In the Regency period, male attire went from that!

Simplicity was the greater rule, all folderol of lace and hair powder and male peacock colors swept away by the ideals of the French Revolution and equality, fraternity and lack of funds to pay for it all!

While the extravagant attire boiled down to slimmer silhouette and darker colors, so to did men hairstyles change.

Here we see a chronological illustration of that progress, some of which we still honor today. Certainly, shorter hair brings with it cleanliness, order and ease of fashion sense.
 These illustrations/paintings seem more in line with our current sensibilities as they certainly were with the ladies' fashions of the day. Here the simplicity of line in female attire corresponds to that of the men!

Too often when we authors write historical fiction fight with ourselves about what to include to give us the verisimilitude necessary. Fashion is definitely one I struggle with! Shall I talk about the fabric, its feel or cost, its hue, its suitability or NOT for the style. Certainly a dressmaker had to have knowledge of what she/ he created.

I remember that from when I was younger and often sewed my own clothes! Choosing the wrong flexibility of fabric or a thickness of warp could destroy the intent of the design. One should have swayed, perhaps, when one really only stalked!

You get me!

One young man who is currently the Rage in men's costume is Zack Pinsent! Who is he??? 

A tailor who lives in Brighton in UK who makes all his own clothes and sews period clothing for men who wish to dress correctly for historical representation! I hope to visit with him when next I go to Brighton!

Fashion sources are a wonderful rabbit hole for research !
Here is one for many time periods but this is 1810-1819 (Regency definitely!)

Here is another, most intriguing! 1810-1830 :

Lately, we see men wearing “runway scruff”. But beards became popular in the mid-19th century, approximately after Victoria came to the throne.

Here is an intriguing discussion of them:

Beards implied masculinity! Here is a quote from a historian of beards: Echoing later claims for the innate masculinity of beards, whiskers were said to be ‘grave and manly’. Whiskers had been venerated by ‘the ancients’, lending them an air of authority and wisdom. It was, as one commentator noted, ‘silly to oppose so ancient a custom in an age so attached to antiquity’.”

A fellow making 2 points of things!