At all times, military clothing was considered special, masculine, and proud-looking. The military attire used during the Napoleonic wars is no exception. This costume is rather impressive even today, not to talk about the beginning of the 19th century. Let’s look at the dress uniform of a light cavalry officer from 1812-15. Watching a man dressing up in this uniform, you involuntarily think, “How could soldiers of the Napoleonic war be ready for battle quickly?”
The day of any Napoleonic officer starts with a good shave, tash-trim, and a wash.
The banyan (robe de chambre) provides warmth, comfort, and relaxed elegance.
He is already wearing his stockings and a bleached linen shirt – sporting decorative frills at the neck and buttoned up cuffs.
There is a reason why help from a servant, butler, or comrade was often sought – tiny buttons need expert handling.
A black silk or cotton stock is next.
Just as nowadays, a well-tied stock is not only a decorative item but can also provide neck support in case of an unplanned dismount. And it can even serve as an improvised torniquet – very handy on the battlefield.
Over the stockings and linen underbreeches, woolen pantaloons are worn.
Expertly tailored, they have enough stretch to fit closely yet allow for full mobility – important for the ease of frequent mounting up / dismounting.
The fall front closure is used here – the flap allows for easy toilet access without taking the pantaloons down completely.
The pantaloons button up on the calves, allowing for a good fit – any spare folds would interfere with the boots and become a real pain during long days in the saddle.
Riding boots next. These are black leather hessians, smart and comfortable.
Wool and linen waistcoat is the next layer. The waistcoat sports fashionable frogging closure worked with silver braid.
A dolman in wool, lined with shaloon and heavily decorated with various military braids – Granby lace and soutache in silver were used here.
The barrel sash goes next.
More pragmatic bling – a sword belt with the sabretache (leather bag with decorative flap, often used for documents, etc).
A cavalry sabre is hooked up to the belt straps.
And another, smaller pouch goes over the shoulder.
Leather gloves next.
And a shako.
Ready to leave quarters!
A close-up of the costume.
Military splendor in all its glory.
A better look at the silver lace braiding and the buttons, as well as the lush barrel sash.
For warmth, a pelisse or a longer coat could be worn on top.