The Victorian waistcoat was an opportunity for individual expression; with personal hand stitching, pattern or vibrant colour. Accessorized with cane, shoes and gloves. Even the plain linen shirt is ‘flounced’ at the neck.

This figure of a townsman (1840-1860s) is only a speedy representation and therefore further research to do. From a short visit to the extensive resource of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) costume gallery; an escape back in time after inclusive museum design meetings in South Kensington.

What was the wearers full style? He might have worn the ‘Wellington Surtout’, an elegant overcoat. Perhaps he was an ‘earnest Victorian’, ‘Gent’ or ‘swell’ stylishly dressed and aspiring to progress in his life?

February 2020