French Gentleman’s Riding Wear, December 1811

Gentleman's Day Wear December 1811Journal des Dames et des Mode, December 20, 1811.

Gentleman’s Riding Wear: “Habit de drap, Gilet de Piqué, Culotte de Casimir de Bombé.”

Since there are so few British fashion prints that depict men’s fashions, I often rely on French prints to see details of gentlemen’s dress. There are so many interesting details here: the pink-and-white striped cravat; the high shirt-points and ruffled shirt-front; the green gloves; the fobs at his waist; the striped breeches (difficult to see online but they are striped); the visible bootstraps; the spurs on his boots. Also note the chain or ribbon tucked in his waistcoat. Could that be attached to a hidden quizzing glass? With all the color and pattern going on here, this chap would no doubt have been dubbed a dandy in England.

In the caption, “Habit de Drap” indicates a wool suit. “Gilet de Piqué” indicates (I think) a quilted waistcoat. I have no idea what “Casimir Bombé” means in relation to breeches (“Culotte”).

The boots and spurs, along with the riding crop or carriage whip indicate that this is a costume for riding or driving.

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