While America’s colonial years were filled with new settlements, growing cities, and a revolution, the fashion of the 1700s was imported from overseas. As the United States fought to separate from England, the colonial-style was adopted from France, the nation that helped young America with its revolution. Men of the 18th century’s colonial years followed French style, wearing decorative and colorful waistcoats as part of their everyday attire. Often lavishly embroidered and crafted from different types of fabric including silk, cotton, brocade, and wool, the waistcoat was a crucial piece of every man’s suiting.

A man, or even a young boy, without a waistcoat, was often viewed as “undressed” if he stepped out of his home in only a coat or shirt. The colonial waistcoat resembled a stylish vest, hitting the upper part of the thigh in length and opening into an upside-down “V” past the stomach. When boys reached seven or eight years of age, they transitioned from children’s clothing to smaller versions of their fathers’ waistcoats to signal their growth.

Pair with our wide selection of colonial clothing parts and accessories to create your very own personalized colonial outfit.

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