The 18th century for men was a time of beauty, extravagant adornments, and bright fashion trends. This is when men sometimes wore more elaborate costumes, with more decorations than women. Some people would even say that they looked too much like peacocks. But in that period of history, it was totally normal to use lace and embroidery and bright dyed patterns on male day-to-day clothing. Let’s find out what garments were in use in the 18th century, how did they embellish clothes, and how did men’s fashion change during this era.
Let's look at 18th-century menswear. The outfit consisted of a shirt, drawers (sort of 18th-century underpants), lower hose held up with garters, shoes (most men in the 18th century wore quite sensible shoes – black or brown leather buckle shoes), a jabot or a cravat, breeches, a long waistcoat, a coat (it was a jacket really, but they called it a coat), a wig, and a tricorn hat.
On the left: camisole and waistcoat. On the right: camisole (a livery). France, the 2nd half of the 18th century
This costume, basically, didn't change throughout the 1700s.
So, breeches, waistcoat, jacket, jabot, and tricorn hat was the absolute staple attire for the 18th-century men across the social/economic spectrum, including the military. So, whenever we talk about an army in the 18th century, they are wearing these items. This look was applied to the working class, the middle class, and the upper class. They are all wearing the same garments, there's just a different degree of embellishment.
But when menswear got fancy, it got really fancy! Actually, there was more embroidery on men's clothing in the 18th century than on women's. Male fashion would never, ever again be so decorative. This is the last time that embellishment, embroidery, color, lace, etc. would be used on everyday male clothing.