I remember thinking suit tails always looked quite high end; then I found out that they were the stripped down version of full length jackets, made more convenient for horse riding. Yesterday and today’s fashion are cultural things, and we forget how we are carried along with this. Remember your first mobile phone and how good it looked at first. Now it’s embarrassing, right! Some goes for a lot of things.
CULTURAL ALTERATION OF THE SUIT
Suits are masculine and always have at least some class attached to them. Yet within this icon of masculine style there have been variations.
The immediate predecessor to the suit was the frockcoat, though it is difficult to know where to draw the line as changes occurred slowly, and the frockcoat itself had predecessors going back many centuries. It was popular in the mid-1800s, at least partly because Prince Albert often wore them. The Mad Hatter from the Alice in Wonderland films wears a type of frockcoat.
Around the 1880s the Frockcoat started to give away to the morning coat, also called the Newmarket coat or riding coat. We tend to know this today as a coat with tails. At the time of introduction this coat with tails was only worn by the more radical younger men of the upper class, with frockcoats only used by the conservative older generation or on special occasions. These days the coat with tails is about the most formal dress there is, the frock coat being literally abolished by Edward the VIII in 1936.
Lounge suits, developing along different line to the jacket with tails, appearing in the late 19th century. They were never as formal as the other suits, but had a status similar to the business suits that they later evolved into. Alterations in this continue to come and go, with many fashions overlapping, and many passing into obscurity. Hats, which one could not be seen without in the early 20th century, had virtually disappeared by the 1970’s. Similarly, pinstripes suits that were popular in the 1920’s are now almost exclusive associated with that era, though the suit of suit continued with dark, plain colours.
MODERN SUITS, ALTERATIONS
Some aspects, like waistcoats, are not as popular as they once were but continue with some users. Other aspects of suits are more to do with the individual than the fashion. Now men will adopt broad shouldered suits or because is suits their build or higher jackets because it makes them look taller. Bespoken suits or alterations make these personal specifications attainable to the average working man.
Talk to a tailor for what suit will complement your build best. We recommend Veracity Tailor for any alteration, Sydney, Chippendale.