During the 18th century, men's wear did not change significantly. Males should continue to dress in a conservative standardized fashion as a result of the Industrial Revolution. As I am sure you have noticed, it is no longer practical for men to wear silks, satins and velvets among industrial smoke and dirt. (Barfoot 56 ). Likewise the 1790s brought us the future of males leggings with the tight fitting pantaloon buttoned several inches above the ankle. (Chalmers 217) It should be noted that the "Dress Act" law passed by the English government forbidding clothes commonly associated with Scotland was passed in 1747. These 'highland clothes' are offensive in nature but also hideous in fashion and certainly warrant the six months of imprisonment. It is the opinion of Enlightened Elegance that seven years of banishment to the new colonies is just for such poor fashion etiquette. (Cassin-Scott 61) Here are Enlightened Elegance's top ten tips to help keep you in fashion from hip to heel.



1. Red heels are definitely a must have for everyone. The first decade of the century saw men wearing low shoes with tongues decorated with bright red heels. While women wore a pointed shoe with red heels similar to their counterparts. (Chalmers 210)

-All aristocrats must have a pair of these pumps.

Fashionable Red Heels

2. Males must have shoes with large buckles set very high and broad tops several inches wide. The tops should be finished with gold cord tied with tasseled ends in the front. Fashionable men’s shoes in the early eighteenth century had high but sturdy heels, painted red for court wear and high fashion, a high tongue, and long square ended toes. (Chalmers 210)

- These red heels are hot!



3. The new softer leather-riding boots (top boots) fitt over the knee and are worn with woolen stockings under them. These heavy riding boots should be trimmed with yellow and the cuffs turned down at the knees. (Barfoot 64)

- Here are my personal favourite, I have found them very durable yet soft.

4. Later in the century, garters and stockings should be completely concealed by breeches. These breeches should be made of black velvet or lighter satin colour. During the early portion of the century stockings can be worn outside of breeches but garters should not be visible. (Barton 333)

- Both these gentlemen are looking great in their stockings.

5. Male breeches need to be gathered onto the waistband and the leg should narrow downwards finishing just below the knee and secured with a knee band over the stocking.(Barton 333-334)

- Patterns for breeches like these are available from your local merchant.



6. All females must have rounded pointed shoes with a high French heels (spindle heels) and long vamps. Her shoes must be made of satin and plain in colour with gold braid such as the ones shown here. (Barton 313)

7. Gentleman should wear shoes with blocked square toes, square uppers and tongue, which are high in the front of the ankle. Sides can be closed and fastening with straps and gold buckles such as these pictured. (Cassin-Scott 58)

8. For female houseware mules or clogs can be worn. Clogs are a must have to protect her fancy shoes from the mud. Although being made of satin as well seems kinda ridiculous. (Barton 313)

-These Clogs are a shoe saver!

9. The Officer should wear jackboots with squared toes of spur leather and metal spurs with star rowels. These boots should be buckle tops (Cassin - Scott 56).

- The riding boots pictured to the left are not just fashionable but practical as well.

10. Likewise, military men can wear spatterdashes for protection from the mud. However these only remained in fashion for a brief period of time but were eventually adopted by agricultural workers. (Barfoot 64)

- Nothing protects your favourite boots and stockings like a pair of spatterdashes. A smart purchase indeed.


For further fashion tips you could always read some of the most popular novels. Novelists, such as Radcliffe, Haywood, Austen, and Goldsmith are definitely up on their fashion. If you are on a budget and would like to make clothing of your own from household items, Daniel Defoe's heroine in Robinson Crusoe comments on his clothing in many descriptive journal entries. We like the following alternatives that Robinson suggested:
"I had a short jacket of goat's skin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of the thighs, and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same; the breeches were made of the skin of an old he-goat, whose hair hung down such a length on either side that, like pantaloons, it reached to the middle of my legs; stockings and shoes I had none, but had made me a pair of somethings, I scarce knew what to call them, like buskins, to flap over my legs, and lace on either side like spatterdashes, but of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of my clothes" (Chapter 11, Page173)


- Jay Cantin, Beauty Editor

Enlightened Elegance

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