Evening Suit

ca. 1885 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is an example of a formal evening dress which would have been worn to smart dinners, the theatre and other fashionable evening entertainments. It was important at this period to be properly dressed in public and private. A fashionable man needed clothes to suit all occasions, both work and leisure. This meant that he sometimes had to change his outfits six or seven times in the space of a day.

In 1888 the dinner jacket was introduced for more informal evening wear. Unlike the evening dress suit, which was cut with tails, the back of the dinner jacket was cut whole. Since then evening dress has altered very little. Any stylistic changes were very subtle, affecting details such as the length and width of the lapels or the fullness of the trousers. The jacket of this evening suit still has the 'button stand' around the outer edge of the lapels. This is a feature that disappeared in the 1890s.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Waistcoat
Materials and Techniques
Wool barathea, lined with satin and linen, faced with ribbed silk
Brief Description
Evening suit consisting of a jacket, trousers and waistcoat of wool barathea, tailored by Morris & Co., London, ca. 1885
Physical Description
Evening suit consisting of a jacket, trousers and waistcoat of wool barathea. The jacket has a square cut tail, double-breasted with four satin coloured buttons, and false button holes. The lapels are faced with ribbed silk. Lined with black satin. Trousers with a fly front and slightly shaped bottoms. Single-breasted waistcoat with a low round neck and plain lapel trimmed with two rows of satin braid. This continues down the front and trims the tops of the two pockets. The buttons are covered with satin. Lined with white linen.
Dimensions
  • Weight: 2.12kg
Credit line
Given by B. W. Owram
Summary
This is an example of a formal evening dress which would have been worn to smart dinners, the theatre and other fashionable evening entertainments. It was important at this period to be properly dressed in public and private. A fashionable man needed clothes to suit all occasions, both work and leisure. This meant that he sometimes had to change his outfits six or seven times in the space of a day.



In 1888 the dinner jacket was introduced for more informal evening wear. Unlike the evening dress suit, which was cut with tails, the back of the dinner jacket was cut whole. Since then evening dress has altered very little. Any stylistic changes were very subtle, affecting details such as the length and width of the lapels or the fullness of the trousers. The jacket of this evening suit still has the 'button stand' around the outer edge of the lapels. This is a feature that disappeared in the 1890s.
Collection
Accession Number
T.171 to B-1960

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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