The advertisement shown here is for a men’s breeches-maker situated close to Grosvenor Square in London. It was clearly aimed at customers of status and wealth: note the appeal to customers with interests in ‘travelling, hunting, shooting, etc’.
Men’s clothes changed considerably across the 18th century. In the early 1700s formal attire for a man consisted of a full-length coat with a waistcoat of equal length, a shirt with frills, breeches to the knee, silk stockings and leather shoes with stacked heels. Full-bottom wigs (often with a centre parting) were worn, topped off by the ubiquitous tricorn hat, which retained its popularity throughout the century. Later in the century men’s fashions became more relaxed. Three-piece suits were more closely tailored, with waistcoats much shorter and coats tight-fitting with swept back skirts. Wigs became increasingly shorter and were tied back with black ribbon. By 1800 they were beginning to be dispensed with altogether.