Advert for Rowland Oliver & Co, clothing company
Medium: Print on paper
Men's clothing at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th was characterised by bright colour and a variety of plush fabrics. Around the middle of the Victorian era, however, sobriety and dark colours became fashionable. Two things contributed to this trend: first, the growth in clerical office jobs; second, the impracticality of wearing bright colours in an industrial city. Upper class gentlemen turned to tweed, heavy woven woolen suits that were both warm and hardwearing. The word "tweed" is a corruption of "tweel", a Scots dialect word for "twill".