French Gentleman’s Greatcoat, March 1811

Gentleman's Greatcoat, March 1811Journal des Dames et des Modes, Paris
March 31, 1811

“Chapeau demi-Bateau. Carrick Bottes à la Hussarde.”

This print is an excellent example of the multi-caped greatcoat so popular with gentlemen during the Regency. It was an English style, adopted by the French. The greatcoat was a long overcoat, sometimes three-quarter length, but most often full length, almost reaching the ground. During the Regency period, it was fashionable to have capes attached to the shoulder of the greatcoat. Here we see only three capes, but in period sources we read of dandies and fops wearing as many as ten capes. Extant examples show the capes as removable. The greatcoat was typically made of wool, and was most often worn for driving, or for walking in inclement weather.

The over-long sleeves, with cuffs hanging well below the hand, is a French affectation, based on the exaggerated styles of the Incroyables, ie the young men of fashion.

The boots are the style known as Hessians in England, here identified with the Hussars. (I’m not sure what “Carrick” refers to.) The Hessian boot rises up in front to a sort of soft point, from which hangs a tassel. Beau Brummell was famous for his gleaming black Hessian boots, said to have been polished with champagne.

The artist, who signed the print, is Carle Vernet. He provided paintings for this publication from 1799 through approximately 1811, so this is one of his last prints for le Journal des Dames et des Modes. His are among my favorite of the prints from this magazine.



  • In From This Moment On,

    Sam removed his greatcoat and draped it across a wet bench for Wilhelmina to sit upon.

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