Men’s fashion in 1840s

In the 1840s, men’s fashion plates show the lowered waistline taking on a decided point at the front waist, which was accompanied by a full rounded chest. Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) had a high influence on male fashion, primarily because of his young age at the time of his wife’s coronation, and his great attention to his appearance. Therefore, the clothing, particularly of upper class gentleman, continued to follow the trend of earlier decades with full shoulders and chest, and a tightly-cinched waist.

During the 1840s, men wore tight-fitting, calf length frock coats and a waistcoat or vest. The vests were single- or double-breasted, with shawl or notched collars, and might be finished in double points at the lowered waist. For more formal occasions, a cutaway morning coat was worn with light trousers during the daytime, and a dark tail coat and trousers was worn in the evening. Shirts were made of linen or cotton with low collars, occasionally turned down, and were worn with wide cravats or neck ties. Trousers had fly fronts, and breeches were used for formal functions and when horseback riding. Men wore top hats, with wide brims in sunny weather.

The man’s clothing develops slowly; the color is covered and the fit becomes slightly looser. The costume consists of tight pants, a striking vest, and a jacket or jacket with shorter pieces. The pants are a different color than the jacket. The dressing gown is typical of this period of domesticity. The popular hiking suit consists of a long type of jacket, a matching vest and trousers. The pardess is still worn as a cloak, or a short cape with splits.

Men‘s clothing evolves during the decade:
The top hat gradually loses height and breadth.
Clothes change from a fashion to a floating fashion, presented as negligence in the press.
The jackets are large basques and large lapels, the vest is elegant and embroidered, the tie is wide scarf.
The pants are loose and covering 3/4 of the foot. The shoes are worn indifferently with or without gaiters.
Many accessories are present: eyeglass, binocle, cane, fob watch, worked buttons.

Shirts and cravats
Shirts of linen or cotton featured lower standing collars, occasionally turned down, and were worn with wide cravats or neck ties tied in several different ways:

Around the neck, knotted in front and puffed up to hide the shirt collar and create a pigeon like neck
Similar to the first version but tucked down into the waistcoat
Around the neck and knotted into a bow tie
The “Osbaldiston”, a barrel shape knot under the chin
Knotted in a wide pointy bow. Dark cravats were popular for day wear and patterned ones were worn in the country.
At this time, the dickey was introduced, a false shirt front usually made of satin. It was worn as an “intentionally messy” look.

Coats and waistcoats
Frock coats (in French redingotes) were worn for informal day wear, were calf length, and might be double-breasted. Shoulders were narrower and slightly sloped. Waistcoats or vests were single- or double-breasted, with shawl or notched collars, and might be finished in double points at the lowered waist.

A cutaway morning coat was worn with light trousers for any formal daytime occasion; evening dress called for a dark tail coat and trousers.

A frockcoat was a tight fitting coat with the front cut up to the waistline, this was for casual wear. A vest replaces the waistcoat at this time, they were still very decorative with no collar. A pardessus for men was a large, black formal cape with a yoke across the shoulder line. A chesterfield coat was a calf-length, fur-lined coat, with a fur collar, cuffs and lapels. There was also no waistline seam.

Full-length trousers had fly fronts. Breeches remained a requirement for formal functions at the British court (as they would be throughout the century). Breeches continued to be worn for horseback riding and other country pursuits, especially in Britain, with tall fitted boots.

Hats and hairstyles
The crowns of tall hats were straighter than in the previous period, and grew taller on the way to the stovepipe shape of the 1850s. They were essential for formal occasions and in cities.

Wide-brimmed hats were worn outdoors in sunny climates. Curled hair and sideburns remained fashionable, along with mustaches.

Style gallery

1 – 1841

2 – 1841

3 – 1840s

4 – 1843

5 – 1845

6 – 1847

7 – 1848

8 – 1849

1.Viennese fashion plate of 1841 shows at-home wear (a patterned dressing gown) and visiting wear. The top hat is becoming taller.
2.Alessandro Manzoni wears tan fly-front trousers with a dark coat and waistcoat. Italy, 1841.
3.British civil servant Charles Edward Trevelyan wears a boldly checked waistcoat and a patterned cravat with fly-front trousers and a dark frock coat, 1840s.
4.Portrait shows Alexander von Humboldt in formal dress, 1843.
5.The Duke of Beaufort wears a dark coat and breeches with a deep red waistcoat. His black cravat is fastened with a stick pin, and he wears heeled boots in 1845.
6.Alexandre Cabanel wears his cravat loosely tied and secured with a stickpin, 1847.
7.1848 fashion plate shows the lowered waistline and full, rounded chest popular in the latter 1840s (compare to the waistline of the 1841 styles).
8.Daguerreotype of poet Edgar Allan Poe, C.1849











1.Louis-Philippe I, King of the French
2.The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, 1844
3.Leopold I of Belgium, 1840
4.Louis, Duke of Nemours, 1843
5.François Ferdinand d’Orléans, Prince de Joinville, 1843
6.Antoine d’Orléans, duc de Montpensier, 1844
7.King Leopold I of Belgium
8.Prince Albert, 1842
9.Prince Albert with little Princess Royal
10.Charles-Jerome, Comte Pozzo di Borgo, 1849

Source from Wikipedia