Tuesday, 14 February 2012

What is the History of The Waistcoat? part 1

History of the waistcoat.
When to wear a waistcoat?
What styles are a classic look and what's in trend?
Do's and dont's of the waistcoat world.

History of the waistcoat
The modern waistcoat or vest can be traced back quite accurately. But vests or sleeveless doublets have been worn for many centuries. The main source of trend seems to date back to the mid 17th century when the fashions of Persia had been noticed by the Prince Regent of England at the time. It was even to enter the diaries of Samuel Pepys in October 1666 as an mode of dress to be worn around court. 
These are some of the styles that date back to the early 1600's. And whilst the decoration seems a little different the overall shape has changed little to what we wear today. So in this case you may reasonably surmise that the waistcoat was just that, a waisted coat. But in Persia the higher average temperature did not call for a full jacket but something that could be decorative, provide shelter against the less elements when needed and be practical in concealing things safely. I do not see pockets on these and think it may be a long till lower and upper pockets are attached to the outside.

The modern details of the style we'll get to but when to wear the waistcoat is the biggest issue to many that would wish too. The important bit is courage. Having one and letting it fester in your wardrobe because you're worried what your partner or colleagues will say is a waste of a beautiful garment. Also, it is an item that can be very flattering as it generally helps trim the stomach and handles if you are of the slightly more succesful persuasion around the midriff. But just do it. Put on a 3 piece and say you are celebrating the anniversary of the waistcoat or something. You may get the odd glance but when you wear it 3 times in a month then others will just expect you to dress a little finer. 
The trend today is that waistcoats are becoming much more popular and as a clothier I have sold more last year then ever before. About 5 years ago I would make 1 for every 30 orders. But over the last 3 years that has come down to 1 every 10.