The Fashionable Male: Italian or French? | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: The Fashionable Male: Italian or French?

February 27, 2010

The Fashionable Male: Italian or French?

1) This suit boasts a a herringbone-pattern which stands out in cream, pink and brown against a soft aqua.  It is silk with metallic details.  The buttons are overlaid with pink foil so they pop against the silk catching light. Flashy.

2) This suit, possibly a court suit, is made of blue silk. It includes geometric patterns, organic and floral shapes with "satin stitch and embroidery."  It is delicate yet bold, and seems to shout "I am refined."

3) This suit is made of navy blue velvet and has gold lace and embroidered details.  Floral and ribbon motifs decorate the vest with silver foil buttons, and the breeches also of velvet are tapered to highlight the legs. This suit is regal and clearly very expensive.

A little style to start the weekend!
Here is an interesting comparison.  What do you think of them?  Do you prefer one to the other?
Can you tell which are Italian and which are French?


  1. All three very lovely, thank you for posting this!

    The image link gives away which suits are French or Italian respectively! Perhaps changing the image names would fix this problem?

  2. I love the details on the second suit - gorgeous! Then again, I wonder if I would want my "man" to be in something so ornate but if it was the fashion of the time, count me in!

  3. Wow- they're fantastic! I can't pick a favorite! I think the bottom one is Italian (they're always a little more, "heavily decorated").

  4. I think 1 and 3 are Italian and 2 is French, though I don't know why. I love them all. So beautiful.

  5. WOW! I love them! I think number 2 is my favorite, but they are all lovely. I would hazard to guess that 1 and 2 are French and 3 is Italian, but I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination ;-)

  6. Hello
    I'm a french woman expat in the USA, and hugeeeee fan of history,(I especialy like the 18th century)
    and a bookworm of biographies about that period
    Just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your blog!
    I'm sooo happy that people around the world like and talk about the "siècle des lumières" and our french history, and try to learn more about it
    Thank you for your blog, you help people around the world learning in a fun way our french history

  7. I love suit number 2 the best, followed rather closely by 3, then then last is the subtle (and perhaps rather plain) 1.

    As for where each one is from, I am not sure. Is 1 from Italy, and 2 & 3 from France?

  8. They are all wonderful. I think 1 and 3 are Italian, and 2 is French. 1 and 3 have the same collars and 2 has a different style collar.

  9. Wait 1 and 3 are French and #2 is Italian. ( I cheated)

  10. Personaly, I like the first one. It's simple, but classic. The color is light enough to accessorize easily. I think it would go well with a pink or blue powdered wig. :)

  11. I only really like No 1.
    It's very elegant and dressy without being too ornate.

  12. I'm with Rosel: I liked no. 1.

  13. Will we get the answer as to which is from where?

  14. Ah Yes!

    Both of the top suits are French, and the third, blue with the gold lace trim, is Italian!

  15. 1 and 2 are French, and 3 is Italian? 2 is clearly just before the turn of the century due to the cut of the jacket and the style of the shirt.

    All very beautiful, but I actually think the first one, in it's prime, would have been the most eye-catching. Imagine its metallic blue material and pink buttons shimmering in candle light! It must have looked so amazing.