1860s Frock Coats

ImageImageImageThe frock suit in the 1860s was undergoing a transformation. As had happened with evening wear in the previous decades, black was pushing color off the stage.

The most common type of frock coat in photographs of the period is black, with black trousers and a black vest. Such a somber ensemble was generally, but not exclusively, worn with a black top hat.

However, as these catalog illustrations show, for at least the first half of the decade, as it had been in the 1850s, color was still frequently seen in coats and other clothing, and the pieces frequently did not match. Plaid or striped trousers and colorful vests were frequent fashion choices.

Men generally wore bow ties, often tied rather carelessly as was the fashion in the 1860s.

Frock coats usually did not have side pockets, and when they did they were fairly subtle. Exterior pockets on frock coats had generally disappeared by the 1870s, as they tended to distort the line.

Click on any of the images for a large scale view.

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