Menswear in the Regency era

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The Regency period (1812-1820) was the time when King George III was found unfit to run the country, and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. Although quite brief, this period was highly influential in terms of style – and in particular the evolution of men’s fashion during the Regency was crucial both to the development of the modern man’s suit and the overarching principle that men as well as women could care about looking stylish.

George Bryan “Beau” Brummell, a friend of the Prince Regent, was the arbiter of men’s fashion of the time. He popularised tailored and well-cut men’s clothing with cravats, luxurious linen shirts, dark coloured tailcoats, trousers in soft, pale shades, decorated waistcoats, and long boots – as opposed to the stockings, knee breeches and buckled shoes of the preceding years.

Beau Brummell is credited with the introduction of the tie to men suiting styles. He claimed that the tie when added to the suit gave a gentle look to the attire of men.