Thanks to Emma for this great post at A Dance In Time.
Contriving a gentlemen’s costume, historically, can nearly be called more difficult than putting together a lady’s. On Ebay, and other internet sources, historically accurate menswear is rare. Thankfully, there are ways, if you know, or are, a seamstress, to recreate the look of long ago rather well.
Take a trip to Goodwill, or your local thrift store, and choose your items.
You will need…
- A shirt, a lightweight white button up, the finer the fabric the better.
- A suitcoat and pants, in dark colors, preferably natural fabrics. Wool usually works best.
- A vest. It can be done without, but if you can find, or make one, do!
During all this shopping, keep sizing in mind. The better fit, the better the overall look. Especially with the trousers… If you can find extra length, it will enable you to raise the waistline, and still hit the shoes nicely.
- For the shirt, if you’d like to play with the collar a little, and re-create other historic styles, by all means, do!
- For the trousers, see How to Cheaply Create Civil War Uniform Pants.
- For the coat, carefully remove all pockets, alter to fit, and go with it!
- For vest and more details and possibilities here.
The cravat is one of the simpler sewing projects, requiring only a little knowledge. It is basically a long piece of fabric, about 58′ long, 6′ wide. Tying instructions are here.
They are not a necessity, but highly recommended.
If your gentleman wishes to come as an enlisted man, and not a civilian, then many of the same rules apply. If you buy, it will be pricey. If you sew, you need to know what you’re doing. I haven’t much experience personally in acquiring uniforms, having found civilian wear to be simpler.
Simpler, Less Accurate Costumes
A simple suit and bow tie will also work for this event. If you aren’t able to put together the made over outfit, just wear your dress clothes. If you have money, and would like to simply purchase the needed items, check out the Gentlemen’s Emporium.