Not currently on display at the V&A

Suit

1940 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The lounge suit dominated men's dress from the 1920s onwards. It was worn at events and in places where in previous decades more formal attire would have been required. By 1940s men were wearing lounge suits with a pullover in place of a waistcoat. Pullovers were previously worn for informal and sporting occasions but they gradually became integrated into mainstream fashion.

This suit was worn by HRH The Duke of Windsor. As Prince of Wales he had been crowned King Edward VIII in 1936, but he abdicated the same year and took the title of The Duke of Windsor. The Duke was acknowledged internationally as the leader of men's fashion. He rebelled against the stiff formality of dress and became famous for his casual style. Using the best London and New York tailors, he continued to be adventurous in his love of bright colour, strong texture and bold pattern.

The Duke gave this suit to Sir Cecil Beaton, who was then collecting fashionable dress for his 1971 exhibition, Fashion: An Anthology.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
Materials and techniques
Woven wool
Brief description
Man's single-breasted suit of wool, made by Trimingham, possibly made in London or Bermuda, 1940
Physical description
Man's single-breasted suit of mustard-coloured check (Glen Urquhart or Prince of Wales check) wool.
Dimensions
  • Trousers waist (measured inside garment) circumference: 75cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Trousers lower hip (measured inside garment) circumference: 114cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Trousers outside leg length: 104cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Trousers inside leg length: 72cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Trousers crotch depth (front waist to back waist through crotch) length: 80cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Trousers hem circumference: 48.5cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket waist circumference: 92cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket chest circumference: 98cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket nape waist length: 39cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket nape hem length: 72cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket across back width: 37cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket sleeve (underarm cuff) length: 44cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket sleeve (shoulder cuff) length: 61cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket cuff circumference: 24cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
Credit line
Given by the Duke of Windsor
Object history
Worn by HRH The Duke of Windsor (formerly Edward VIII)
Association
Summary
The lounge suit dominated men's dress from the 1920s onwards. It was worn at events and in places where in previous decades more formal attire would have been required. By 1940s men were wearing lounge suits with a pullover in place of a waistcoat. Pullovers were previously worn for informal and sporting occasions but they gradually became integrated into mainstream fashion.



This suit was worn by HRH The Duke of Windsor. As Prince of Wales he had been crowned King Edward VIII in 1936, but he abdicated the same year and took the title of The Duke of Windsor. The Duke was acknowledged internationally as the leader of men's fashion. He rebelled against the stiff formality of dress and became famous for his casual style. Using the best London and New York tailors, he continued to be adventurous in his love of bright colour, strong texture and bold pattern.



The Duke gave this suit to Sir Cecil Beaton, who was then collecting fashionable dress for his 1971 exhibition, Fashion: An Anthology.
Bibliographic reference
Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971402
Collection
Accession number
T.717&A-1974

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
Download as: JSON