Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Court Attire for Gentlemen

Catherine Delors has a fascinating post on men's attire at Versailles, which was imitated by all the other courts of Europe. (Check out the jeweled shoe buckles.) To quote:
....The male three-piece suit (coat, waistcoat, breeches) followed the same cut as the clothing worn by noblemen and bourgeois alike in regular settings. The major difference between gentlemen's Court attire and ordinary clothes was in the embroidery and of course the quality and cost of the fabric. It was literally ruinous.
The Comte de Tilly, who was a Page to Marie-Antoinette, admits to spendthrift habits in his youth. In his Memoirs, he recalls that, when he appeared before the Queen in yet another new embroidered suit, she expressed a motherly concern in the sad state of his finances.
Even hunting clothes were richly embroidered. The Royal Hunt took place in the woods that surrounded Versailles and other royal residences. It was an official event as any other.


Brantigny said...

Yes... Michelle O, is the personification of Josephine Beauharnais with out the taste.
Nouveau-riche classe moyenne.


Gabriel Girl said...

See, that looks amazing. I feel nostalgic for the days when men could dress sumptuously and well without being called gay. Now it seems like male "fashion" primarily involves their tattered pants stupidly hanging somewhere around their knees...*sigh*

lara77 said...

The outrageous costs that courtiers had to absorb as to be seen "correctly" dressed was something that really needed to be reformed at the court of Versailles. I believe if King Louis XVI had been given the years he would have transformed the opulence of the days of Louis XIV to a more restrained monarchy.His Majesty who kept daily records of his expenses was at heart too practical a man to be surrounded by such ostentation. A trait from his Saxon mother?