Men's Clothing in the Early 1700s

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In the 1700s, men began wearing an early version of what we would call the three-piece suit. However, 18th century clothing was often more elaborate and showy than clothing worn today.

Under Garments

Undergarments typically consisted of a knee-length linen shirt and knee-high stockings. Most men wrapped their shirt tails around their legs like a loincloth. However, some men wore knee-length underdrawers.

Outer Wear

Most men wore knee-length pants called breeches. Over their shirts, they wore a lightweight jacket called a waistcoat which came in both sleeved and sleeveless styles. Neckwear consisted of either a kerchief, a cravat or a pleated linen stock.


The coat was knee-length, made of wool and typically fastened with large metal buttons. The sleeves ended in large cuffs, decorated with more buttons. In cold weather, a man wore either a cloak or a loose coat called a "great coat."


By the 1700s felt hats made from beaver fur were so popular that the beaver went extinct in many parts of Europe. A popular style was the tricorn, which featured a folded brim that made it easier to carry under the arm when it wasn't being worn.

Hair & Wigs

Eighteenth-century men wore their hair long and tied back in ponytail or a braid called a queue. They also wore powdered wigs. White, blue, gray and pink were popular colors.

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