men’s fashion

A Little Nightcap


This embroidered nightcap represents a type of hat worn by English men beginning around 1550. It was appropriate for any time of day despite its name, and men wore it informally at home but not while sleeping. A man would have rarely worn an embroidered nightcap in public, yet some appeared in elite portraiture. Headwear was important because keeping the head covered and warm was thought to be part of a healthy lifestyle, even though most men wore their natural hair at the time. This hat’s lavish decoration also indicated the wealth and social status of its wearer.
men’s fashion, hats, embroidery, Queen Elizabeth

Maintaining a Pleasant Atmosphere


This coat, called an habit, embodies aristocratic extravagance before the French Revolution. The habit was worn as part of the habit à la française, an early three-piece suit which also included a waistcoat (vest) and breeches. The embroidery is dense with large-scale flowers, scalloped ribbons, and tassels on a silk fabric woven with a pattern of blue and black chevrons and stylized floral designs.
men’s fashion, deportment

The “feet” of time?


Relatively little is known about this pair of men’s silk stockings.  The donor of the stockings, Richard Greenleaf, identified them as being French and dating from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.  But the most striking thing about the stockings is their decoration.
stockings, knitting, men’s fashion, sans-culottes, embroidery