During the social and political upheaval of the late 18th century in Europe, overdone fabrics and frippery went out of style (who wants to look like an aristocrat when they're all getting their heads chopped off??) and fashion was simplified. Women's fashion took its cue from Classical ideals, and for men, country clothing became the new trend in town. Breeches and stockings were out. Brightly colored brocade coats were out. Now men wore long trousers and a dark woolen coat (exquisitely tailored, of course) to be fashionable.
|1805 Caricature of Beau Brummell|
|Miniature Portrait of |
The male mode of dress developed during the early 19th century has set the tone for menswear to this day. Even in this age of jeans and t-shirts, no man's wardrobe is considered complete without a tailored suit of dark wool. And luckily for me, it's easier to convince a guy to dress "period" in a coat and trousers than a doublet and petticoat breeches!
There are some great resources if you want to learn more about Beau Brummell and his cohorts - Wikipedia, of course, and lately I've also been enjoying reading An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England. I missed Beau Brummell: This Charming Man but want to see it someday!