Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lacing in Style, 1819

"Lacing in Style". London: 1819. Royal Museums Greenwich.
Today we jump forward in  time to 1819 with this great satirical T. Teagg print from 1819: "Lacing in Style, or A Dandy Midshipman preparing for Attraction". A parody of the exaggerated genteel male fashions of the late 1810s, this print shows a midshipman getting his fashionably-waspish waist by having sailors on a capstan winching him tight. The fashion was much-mocked: as the Marine says, "Stays!!! Well, I've a good mind to get petticoats!"

While their officer follow the vagaries of civilian fashion, the Royal Navy sailors on deck reflect the slow, steady change in nautical fashion as well. Closing out the era this blog covers, these sailors are beginning to show many of the signs of the modest revolution sailor fashion undergoes after the end of the Napoleonic Wars: long queues, Guernsey frocks, long trousers that drag on the ground at the heel, and tie shoes.

The sailor sitting on the gun smoking a pipe wears little black pumps, white socks, striped red and white trousers, a blue jacket, and a shapeless black round hat. His queued hair was left uncolored by the artist, making it look blond with a white queue tie.

The four sailors at the capstan are dressed in a motley of clothes: red and white striped trousers, blue trousers, white trousers; a red and white striped Guernsey frock, blue jackets; a tightly-tied white cravat, a loosely-tied red handkerchief. Their little black pumps are tied. The sailor with his back to the viewer has a long, thick brown queue, and the other three sailors look like they have short hair. Two wear black round hats, one wears what looks like a brown "carpenter's cap", and the fourth man is bareheaded.

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