French Gentleman’s Day Wear, August 1814

Journal de Dames et des Modes, Paris, August 20, 1814.

“Habit de longues Basques. Guêtres hautes.”

This gentleman’s coat is noted as having long tails, though it doesn’t look that different from other coats of the period, where the tails almost always hit the back of the knee.  The coat is typically full in the shoulders, with sleeves falling to the knuckles, in the French manner. The collar seems to be of a lighter color. Underneath the coat he wears a short single-breasted waistcoat with horizontal stripes. His shirt appears to be frilled , the collar extremely high, touching his checks, and the neckcloth simply tied.

His breeches are likely of some type of leather, buttoned not buckled. But the most interesting part of his ensemble is the knee-high gaiters, which also appear to be of leather, that cover the top of the shoe and tie just beneath the knee. High gaiters, generally of canvas, were often worn by workmen, and some infantry regiments. But this gentleman is neither a workman nor a soldier, so his high gaiters would have been simply a fashion statement.  This is one of the only prints I’ve seen that show this type of gaiter, rather than an ankle-high spat.

The gentleman’s ensemble is completed with a high-crowned beaver hat and a rustic walking stick.

The print was designed by Horace Vernet.


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