United States Suit Vests: Patterns

Figure 1.--This Daguerreotype shows an unidentified boy wearing a fashionable outfit. He looks to be about 11-years old. The Dag is undated, but was probably tajken in the 1840s. It is a 1/6 plate Dag in a half case. Note his florid dress pattern.

The earliest vests we see are patterened vests. We first notice vests in the mid-19th century. We are notsure about the 1830s, but we see them in 1840s Daguerreotypes. At the timer boys did not commonly wear suits with mtching jackets and pants. The same was true of the vests. We see boys wearing vests with a range of bold patterns including checks and plaids as well as florid patterns. We believe that bright colors were commonly chosen, but this can not be determinned by thge black-and-white pgotogrphy of the day. Boys may have worn vests without jackets, but this is not very common in the photographic record. This was not a boy's style. Men wore the same outfits. A good example is a younger teenager, we think in the 1840s. We also see the bright vests in the 1850s, but here are assessment is complicated by the difficulty in differentiating 1840s from 1850s Dags. By the 60s, vests were being sone in the same color and masterial as the suit. Three piece sits were often done in dark colors and muted patterns. We see boys wearing vests in the 1970s. These were vests made to be worn instread of suit jackets and were often doine in bold colors and patterns, although not as florid of the 1840s-50s vests.


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Created: 12:45 AM 9/6/2010
Last updated: 12:45 AM 9/6/2010