Advert for Sampson's, men's clothiers
Printer: T Pettitt & Co
Medium: Print on paper
Until the 1850s men’s suits were made to measure by bespoke tailors. This meant that they were very expensive. After the invention of the sewing machine and the introduction of mass-produced clothing, suits of a reasonable quality at a low price became available to more people. Stores like Sampsons sold off-the-peg suits in a range of sizes. The wealthy still had their suits tailormade as clothing was a symbol of affluence, an expensive suit implied that the wearer was an important member of society.