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Double-breasted suit

Double-breasted suit

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1904 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Flannel, lined with cotton, mother-of-pearl, brass, bone

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Brooks

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Light-coloured suits such as this became popular in the 1890s. The matching coat, trousers and waistcoat in pin-striped flannel (known as 'dittos') were accepted dress for summer sports and holidays. The outfit was often completed with a straw boater.

The striped jacket had originally been worn for cricket, tennis and rowing and it became fashionable for seaside wear during the 1880s. The cut of this jacket is derived from the earlier 'reefer' coat, usually worn for sailing. The infiltration of sporting dress into informal styles of clothing shows how social conventions were relaxing in the late 19th century.

Conventions in dress applied to informal as well as more formal wear. It was important to be dressed appropriately for the occasion. One gentlemen's etiquette book wrote:

There are special suits for all kinds of outdoor amusements, such as shooting, golfing, tennis, boating, driving, riding, bicycling, fishing, hunting, &c., but into the details of these it is unnecessary to enter. It may be remarked, however, that it is easy to stultify the whole effect of these, however perfectly they may be 'built' by the tailor, by the addition of a single incongruous article of attire; such as a silk hat or patent boots with a shooting-suit. (Mrs Humphry, Manners for Men, London 1897)

Physical description

Man's double-breasted suit consisting of cream flannel jacket and trousers woven with a thin blue vertical pin-stripe.

The jacket is hip length, a three-button double-breasted with a button hole in the high wide lapels. It can be buttoned either side. There is a breast pocket and pockets at the hips, which fasten with a button and button hole. There are two buttons at the wrist. The body of the jacket is unlined, but the sleeves are lined with white cotton. The shoulders are not padded. The buttons are of mother-of-pearl.

The trousers have a fly front with bone buttons, tabs of self material for a hip-belt, and hip pockets. They are straight cut, obliquely at the ankle to fit over the shoe. The top is lined with white cotton and there are six buttons stitched inside the top for the braces, two of which are stamped 'Burberry & Sons, London'. At the back is a tab with a double pronged brass metal button.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1904 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Flannel, lined with cotton, mother-of-pearl, brass, bone

Marks and inscriptions

'Burberry & Sons, London'
Stamped on two buttons

Object history note

Light coloured suits such as this one became popular from about the 1890's, and matching coat and trousers (dittos) were accepted dress for summer sports and holidays. The cut of the jacket is derived from the earlier reefer coat, usually worn for sailing.

Descriptive line

Man's double-breasted suit consisting of flannel jacket and trousers, Great Britain, ca. 1904


Fashion; Men's clothes; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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