Dressing Up Info
  Welcome! 1840s A Note on the Fashions

In the 1840s the clothes became a little lighter weight, with thinner fabrics and less stiff padding in the coats. Sportswear starts to become popular, as gentlemen gather in clubs for horse riding and other outdoor pastimes. The skill of the tailor is turned toward these projects while still turning out the frock coats and evening coats similar to the previous two decades.

Men's clothing starts looking busier, now, with weaves and patterns more varied and appearing more often. Trousers often appear with stripes or checks, and waistcoats are often multicolored and/or textured, using stripes, brocades, velvets. The waistcoats tend to have a shallow point at the center front of the waist, and the sleeve heads of coats are a little less generous than they were in the 1830s.

The 1840s also began the spread of ready to wear clothing. Outlets started to appear, that would sell coats for a fifth the price of the tailor. This brightened the outlook of the middle classes, who could now afford to dress better and have more clothes. A worker could arrive for his job in a frock coat, even if he had to exchange it for a smock once he got there.