Period Fashions Reference Library

Gentleman's Evening Dress for the Turn of the Century. 1899-1905

An Overview

by Katy Bishop, Vintage Victorian






In evening clothes little change is to be noted. The coat is shaped to the waist, and the tails, which are cut at an angle, end two inches above the back of the knee. The trousers are full and wide, and have a stripe down the side or not, as preferred. The waistcoat is single-breasted. The evening coat is faced with silk only to the lapels, and has a cloth collar. Evening dress is worn on all formal occasions after seven o'clock. The dinner jacket or "Tuxedo", as it is foolishly called-is made of vicūna or dress cloth, and is for informal evening occasions. It is used much in summer, even at hotel hops and ordinary evening entertainments in the country, and at all but the most fashionable watering- places.
Shirts for evening wear are perfectly plain, white-bosomed, two shirt buttons, collars attached or unattached, cuffs attached. For evening the straight standing three-inch collar is the most fashionable. Shirt buttons should be of white enamel, gold, or pearl. The tie is the straight self-tied linen bow, square ends, for evening dress, and the black silk bow, self-tied, with square ends, for dinner coat. The high banded turned-down collar may be worn with a dinner coat. Top-hats are rather straight up and down, with slightly curling brims. Silk or top hats worn with evening coats and Derby or black alpine felt with dinner or Tuxedo jacket. There is a reaction against the opera or crush hat. There is a tendency to wear colored hose with evening dress. The colors must be subdued, however, and the material must be silk. If lisle thread hose are used, they must be black. Very handsome ones are of black with white stripes.

Harper's Bazar, 31 March 1900

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last updated 24 jul 2014/csb