Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1870-1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool twill, brass, partly lined with cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Osborn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the 1870s plain, checked and striped trousers were fashionable wear with morning coats. Stripes were particularly popular as they gave the impression of height, especially if they were cut fairly straight to the ankle like this pair which are strapped under the foot to keep the line. They were difficult to cut correctly as the stripes had to run straight down the leg and match at the seams and the best tailors employed specialist trouser cutters.

In this example the tailor has positioned the fabric on the bias to give sufficient room for the seat while cleverly matching the stripes in an inverted 'V' shape. The bias given to the seat seam was known as the 'seat angle'. Two rising points cut in the top at the centre back accommodate the metal brace buttons which are stamped with the manufacturer's name, E. Parkin & Sons, Sheffield. Less care has been taken to align the fabric here, probably because it was concealed under the coat.

Physical description

Striped trousers of wool twill partly lined with cotton. In dark grey and blue with a fly front fastening with five small brass buttons and three pairs of similar brace buttons. Buttons of the same kind serve to fasten brown woollen straps at the bottom of the legs. With two pockets.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1870-1880 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wool twill, brass, partly lined with cotton

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed around the edge of the brace buttons


Length: 83.5 cm inside leg, Width: 78 cm waist, Length: 111 cm outer leg, Depth: 70.7 cm crotch, Circumference: 36.5 cm leg hem, Circumference: 98 cm hips, Length: 44 in outer leg

Descriptive line

Striped trousers of wool twill, Great Britain, 1870-1880

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Johnston, Lucy with Kite, Marion and Persson, Helen. Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publications, 2005. 30-1p., ill. ISBN 185174394.

Labels and date

Frock coat

From the early 1860s men's clothes became darker and many bridegrooms adopted what became the standard wedding outfit of a dark grey or black coat worn with lighter trousers and a white waistcoat. This double-breasted frock coat is thought to have been worn by the donor's father, Robert O'Brien Furlong, for his wedding in Dublin on 29 June 1871.

Wool, lined with silk, with replica collar and tie
Given by A.W. Furlong
V&A: T.47-1947; T.118A-1953 [2011]


Wool; Cotton; Metal


Machine sewing


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


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.