KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.

Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Taishi Hirokawa

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Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches

Mid. 18th century - France

Coat of purple silk brocad with floral spray pattern; waistcoat of pink silk brocad with flower and fur serpentine motif; breeches of red silk velvet.
Inventory Number(s)
AC8940 93-29, AC4867 84-21-3, AC5916 88-55-35

Mid-18th century menswear. The coat has large cuffs and deep pleats from both sides of the waist to the hem at the rear. The waistcoat is long enough to fully conceal the wearer's back. Both have gorgeous weave patterns, with silver thread used for the coat, and the waistcoat using gold thread and various colors of silk thread. Before the modern period, Men's clothing worn by Western royalty and nobles was at least as splendid and gorgeous as that for women, as men dressed in a manner that would maintain class distinctions, flaunting their privileged status. Brocade looms were able to manufacture patterns as required, but weaving took a long time and the weaver had to have an assistant to manipulate the harness cord that adjusted the warp threads. Manufacture of figured textiles only became more mechanized with the arrival of the Jacquard loom in 1804.