Worthing Museum Fashion Collection - Waistcoats

Updated: Oct 22, 2018

“Before the widespread adoption of synthetic textiles, such as rayon in the 1930s, the majority of clothing would have been made from wool, silk, linen, or cotton. These natural fibers could be combined to produce a vast array of fabric blends that differed in weight, finish, and appearance”.

- p50 The Dress Detective by Ingrid Mida and Alexandra Kim

Waistcoats were a key feature of a Regency gentleman's outfit. The first three images below are of details of a section of a waistcoat, cut and saved presumably because of how fine and beautiful the embroidery is. The others show a range of decorative styles. As was true of womenswear at the time white on white work was popular, ie. white embroidery on white fabric. On the audio clip we talk of the mechanisation of fabric production, fob watch pockets (Janet describes how to make one), the historical phenomena known as the Great Renunciation and the type of detailing that became so key as regards menswear in the Regency period.

click here to listen to the waistcoat associated audio

In the audio clip you'll hear mention of Jacquard weave, for more information please see:

You can find out more about the Great Renuncation here:

We were even able to look at a waistcoat known to have been worn by an officer at the battle of Waterloo