In the Victorian era, a great deal of importance was placed on women's fashion. But emphasis was also placed on men's fashion. A man of middle- to upper-class social standing was expected to dress appropriately and not show himself publicly without the proper attire. Men of lower social standing were not expected to follow these fashion standards, as they were expensive. Labourers were not expected to either, as the clothing would get dirty.
Shirts and Jackets
The shirts of the Victorian era were not very different from those of today. But Victorian shirts had more accessories, such as collars and bibs, since washing did not happen as often. Vests were a focus for Victorian men and would be worn to make a statement, much like ties do for men today. Tailcoats and frock coats were fashionable choices for men. Capes, sack coats and great coats were worn, as well as lightweight coats called dusters.
The only significant difference between trousers in the Victorian era and the trousers of today was that the waist was higher and there were no belt loops. The trousers were held up by suspenders. Some trousers featured decorative braid trimming. Chaps helped protect the trousers and were worn by men who spent a lot of time on horseback. Also common were knee breeches.
Victorian men typically wore boots or shoes called brogans. Brogans were laced shoes, with as few as four eyelets for the laces (two on each side) or as many as 10 (five on each side). Calf-high boots were worn with knee breeches. These boots were commonly stovepipe boots, which could be worn under trouser legs or over the legs, depending on how tall the boots were.
Pocket watches and walking sticks were commonly carried by Victorian men. Hats were plentiful, with top hats being the chosen type for formal events. Bowler hats were not worn often at the beginning of the Victorian era, but their popularity increased. Cravats, bandannas and scarves were also frequently worn. Buttons and rings often matched.
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