His Clothes

What clothes did a late-Victorian man of London wear? This describes his underclothes, 'overclothes' including suits and trousers, footwear, grooming and accessories such as an umbrella.


Sidney wears under-drawers or pantaloons usually made from flannel or cotton, and wool in the winter. Silk ones are too expensive and he finds linen uncomfortable. Most of his are below the knee, rather than ankle-length. They have loops for braces and are buttoned at the front. They are much the same in style as those he remembers his father wearing.

His under-vests are sleeveless, long and with buttons at the front.


Sidney has three suits; most men have just two; one for use on Sunday and the other for the working week.

For work, Sidney wears a black, single breasted morning coat with a white shirt and black tie, with a black waistcoat and striped trousers. He wears either a cravat or a knotted or bow tie.

The frock coat is still the correct dress for formal occasions; it is a long, waisted coat down nearly to the knees, usually double-breasted. Sidney wears his in the typical way, over a waistcoat and with grey pinstriped, rather than check, trousers. He is not keen on check trousers, whether the pattern is fine or bold.

Sidney also has a black tailcoat and trousers with a white waistcoat for evening wear if ladies are present.

As Sidney and Julia share two bicycles with his brother in the next road, he has bought a Norfolk suit.


Sidney has one pair of shoes and two pairs of lace-up boots. They are in an elegant, narrow shape with a fairly pointed toe.


Sidney is clean-shaven except for a moustache.


Sidney has a black silk top hat, two pairs of gloves, one black and the other tan. He has a small collection of canes and one umbrella.