Sunday, January 25, 2015


Pretty happy with the belted waistcoat. We'll see how practical it is in the Spring when it gets torture-tested on a movie set. Dangerous territory, this garment. There is documentation and visual evidence for them, but little else. The concept SEEMS sound (what little we know about it.)

Traditional waistcoats have their problems. One solution is to add loops or tabs to the inside to button the waistcoat to the breeches or overalls. Both the British and the French military mention this as a good idea. There are surviving civilian garments with tabs. Eliminating the tails and pocket flaps streamlines the vest further.

What we don't know is what the back looked like. Uncomfortable territory for some Progressive folks, SPECULATION is bad. It is how we separate ourselves from this. But old garments are like fossils, most didn't survive. Ignoring them creates just as inaccurate a picture.

So how much is too much? Two loops to the overall fall buttons DO hold everything together. Lacing the belt like breeches allows for some adjustment. It is possible to put it on yourself. Lastly, the belt acts like a cross between elastic on a sweatshirt and a weight-lifting belt. Practical, yes; correct? Maybe. No farbs were harmed in the making of this garment.

Next time, an old friend gets his third makeover. The F&I Regimental doesn't fit quite right. New skills fix old mistakes.


  1. I like the clean lines of the waistcoat portrayed by de Verger. A civilian 1780-1785 waistcoat in the Snowshill Wade collection (UK) has ties across the back, Somewhere I have seen eyelets on tabs on similarly-dated civilian waistcoat backs, and will look for those. Speculation is a leap no one likes to make, but the missing link may have disintegrated by now. Let us hope instead someone finds it in an attic-- there are still some undiscovered collections.