I just spotted these images of yet more gorgeous waistcoats from the Wade collection at Berrington Hall, on the well-illustrated Hidden Wardrobe blog. I have previously showed some of these exuberantly ‘pre-Brummell’ waistcoats here.
They are on show in an exhibition entitled ‘Wearing the Garden’, about the floral decoration on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century waistcoats. The exhibition is on view until 30 June – just an few days left.
I find it difficult to imagine how men could unselfconsiously wear such sumptuous and theatrical clothes – but they evidently did.
I suppose it would have helped that this style and level of luxury was considered perfectly appropriate for a certain class of person in the late eighteenth century.
But even then, as costume curator Althea Mackenzie writes, there were grumblings that it was becoming difficult to distinguish a master from a servant just on the basis of dress.