French Gentleman’s Riding Wear, December 1811

Journal des Dames et des Mode, Paris, December 20, 1811.

“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-and-white waistcoat; 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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