I keep getting told that this is a subject of endless fascination–which if I’m honest, always leaves me scratching my head. But there you go.
The early 19th century sees English tailoring dominating male fashion for the first time. Previously, it had always been Paris which had been the dominant capital of fashion. But the combined forces of the ongoing war against the French and Napoleon (which would have made the idea of all things French repugnant to many) and Beau Brummell allowed the English tailors to show what they could do. And what they could do what draw on Britain’s extra-ordinarily wide access to different weights and weaves of wool, and cut that wool so that it would mould to the figure as only a natural fabric, when well-cut, can do. Continue reading
Inexpressibles, what were they, you ask? Very very tight, usually knitted of silk, trousers–almost like today’s women’s leggings, designed to show off a gentleman’s muscular legs to best advantage. They were also known as bum-clingers and the term inexpressibles said it all–for what respectable woman could express that?
In colour, they tended to mirror that of a classical Greek statue–pale greys, pale ochres like sandstone or marble. Because that was the whole idea of the thing, or the look, if you prefer.
The tight buckskin breeches, or inexpressibles of a pale colour, when worn with the tight waistcoat also of a pale colour were meant to create the impression–should one see the wearer without his coat–that you were viewing a naked Greek god or hero carved out of stone or marble with his enviable godlike physique. Make no mistake, it was highly erotic. And they meant it to be. Continue reading