An Antique Menswear Dictionary

From a dictionary published in 1908 for members of the tailoring and retail trades:

Armenian cloak – a fashionable overgarment of 1851 composed of one piece of cloth (except for the sewed-on wide turn-over collar) and with no seams except the underarm seam of sleeve and the underarm body-join, the collar and front edges trimmed with velvet or wide braid, and the garment fastened at the neck with cord and tassels.

Bags – slang for trousers.

Crusher – a soft felt hat not hurt if stuft into a bag; much loved of travelers.

Derby sack – a single breasted s. coat with the regular front, with a short under-arm cut terminating in a waistline extending back to the side seam, meeting a body-shaped back part which has a center vent reaching to the made waistline, and finisht with inverted (side) plaits also reaching to the waistline.

Evening dress – the swallowtail and Tuxedo as opposed to frock coats for day dress and sack coats for business and lounge wear; vulgarly “full dress”.

Fashion monger – one who affects scrupulous attention to fashion; a dandy.

Many are still used today, but more interesting are the descriptions and names for esoteric cloths and silks from specific producers that no longer exist. Continue reading more.

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