The Fashionable Male: A Green Suit | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: The Fashionable Male: A Green Suit

March 09, 2010

The Fashionable Male: A Green Suit

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni.  Portrait of a Man in a Green Suit, oil on canvas. Dallas Museum of Art. 

Today's fashionable male is actually an unknown subject, however he knew his style.  Offsetting his fair complexion and blue eyes, Monsieur Unknown has opted for a green suit of velvet lined with a matching satin.  The jacket is lined with gold trim and numerous gold buttons.  Exaggerated buttons (size and number) were  a trend in the later 18th century.  There were even caricatures made emphasizing the ridiculous nature of large, flashy, (unsightly?) buttons! 

His waistcoat matches the jacket, and also boasts buttons and contrasting gold details.  The pockets are highlighted and (surprise) even more buttons can be found below them. So maybe the tailor went a bit overboard on the buttons...  

Another popular trend of the period was the muslin stock worn around the neck, light weight and cool. The lace on his sleeves tells us the shirt is a dress shirt, and the rich fabric of the coat also lets us know he is going somewhere important! A narrow ruff on his shirt; he certainly works the delicate fabric. In-fact the lace is a nice contrast to the hardware on that coat!


  1. How gorgeous! Were these coats meant to be buttoned--are there button holes?--or are the buttons purely decorative? And I see he has a single, lower button undone on his waistcoat--I've seen this before--is this anything other than style? Thanks for another interesting post--a lovely way to begin the day.

  2. Very handsome, but is that a paunch? ;)

  3. @K.L Yes the coats could be buttoned up but it was fashionable not to, would show off the waistcoat and was probably just more comfortable! I found a fun quote:
    "An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin — broadcloth without, and a warm heart within,"
    Perhaps our man in question is not so honest? ;)

    @Tulip Maybe! But doesn't that just mean he likes to knock one back with the guys?

  4. I agree, he is very handsome. Or was for that matter lol :)