- The Gentleman's Page
The Tail Suit - Day Wear
The wearing of "tails" during the day was fashionable for men from the turn of the 19th Century until the 1840s. From the '40s on, the tail coat was gradually supplanted by the frock coat.
You can still find a few examples of the tail coat in day wear into the 1860s, but it had ceased to be the norm, and had by that time been relegated primarily to evening wear.
The day wear tail coat differed from the evening tail coat in a few major details.
First, the day tail coat was often in a color other than black (blue, green and red were popular) and usually (but not always) had metallic rather than fabric covered buttons.
This isn't to say that you would never find a man wearing a black tail coat with fabric covered buttons with day wear - but you would also find a variety of color and nice brass, pewter, silver or gilded buttons.
The cut and style of the man's tail coat went through some major changes through the first half of the 19th Century (mainly in collar style and body silhouette), which, since I am focusing on the second half on the 19th Century, I won't address here.
I will focus on the tail suit at the very end of its life.