The eighteenth century monied male was often a peacock, eager to display his taste and wealth, and fond of lavishly decorated or patterned fabrics, and bright striking colours. The usual outfit remained the three piece suit of coat, waistcoat and breeches until 1800, when trousers began to replace breeches. Fashionable suits were usually plain woollen facecloth for practical urban or rural wear; woven silks for more formal evening occasions; and highly trimmed and embroidered silk satins and velvets for court wear. Waistcoats were sleeved until the 1740s, then sleeveless as today, and they were often embroidered to match the coat. Looser banyans or gowns were worn for relaxing in the home, when the wig would be replaced by a comfortable "nightcap". Working men wore jackets and waistcoats of hard-wearing fustian (cotton and linen mix) or wool, with breeches of leather or later cheap cotton corduroy, "thicksett" or velveret.
Full item descriptions:
"coat & banyan" [1949.73]
"waistcoat, sleeved" [1961.275]
"waistcoat, sleeved" [2003.169]
"fashion print" [1956.111]