Study & Reconstruction: Morning Coat c.1807

The morning coat is perhaps one of the more underrepresented garments of Regency-period fashion; indeed, most fashionable men would own at least one single-breasted coat to wear at appropriate occasions (dancing, walking and riding for leisure) where the garment was socially expected. However, with many prints of the period showing figures dressed predominantly in ordinary daywear, modern preconceptions of Regency fashion tend to neglect the equally popular occasion wear.

In my ongoing efforts to build a wardrobe of Regency period clothing, the Morning coat seemed an appropriate stepping stone towards the double-breasted cutaway coat. I was able to recycle my single-breasted jacket pattern and adapt the tails, collar and lapels to achieve the right cut for the single-breasted Morning coat.

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An 1807 print from La Beau Monde illustrates the fashionable outfits for morning wear. The coats are

 

 

Without lining, the pegging of the tail buttons is exposed. Button pegging is a mainstay of 19th Century tailoring; achieved by passing a cord or cloth strip through the button shank on the wrongside, to make it sit flush on the rightside of the cloth. Pegging is reserved only for buttons which serve no functional purpose; false button-rows on cavalry and rifle jackets are one example.

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One lesson I can take away from this project is the technique of drafting lapels for a coat. Special consideration had to be given to how the lapels would sit after the collar was added: folding the lapels too close to the shoulders would leave me with a very high and very narrow collar which would spoil the silhouette of the neck. Similarly, folding too close to the CFO would result in an unfashionable concealment of the neckcloth.

As a time-saving measure, I re-used the sealed pattern I’d created for my rifleman’s jacket. Very few changes were made to this pattern besides the shaping of the CFO and extension of the tails. The revisiting of a previous project consequently permitted me to identify shortcomings in my drafting which had previously eluded me.

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