Trousers

1870-1880 (made)
Trousers thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wool twill, brass, partly lined with cotton
Brief Description
Striped trousers of wool twill, Great Britain, 1870-1880
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.
Dimensions
  • Inside leg length: 83.5cm
  • Waist width: 78cm
  • Outer leg length: 111cm
  • Crotch depth: 70.7cm
  • Leg hem circumference: 36.5cm
  • Hips circumference: 98cm
  • Outer leg length: 44in
Marks and Inscriptions
'E. PARKIN & SONS. SHEFFIELD.' (Inscribed around the edge of the brace buttons)
Gallery Label
Frock coat Ireland 1871 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)
Credit line
Given by Lady Osborn
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Johnston, Lucy with Kite, Marion and Persson, Helen. Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publications, 2005. 30-1p., ill. ISBN 185174394.
Collection
Accession Number
T.118A-1953

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record createdOctober 3, 2007
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