Waistcoats are Wonderful

The White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat

We’re still accepting entries for the 2012 Handwoven garment challenge until April 12. If you need last-minute inspiration, consider the waistcoat, developed and introduced in 1666 by King Charles II of England.

At the time, the English court dressed in the latest French fashions (think “puffy”), which required many yards of fabric. Instead, the elegant waistcoat, based on Persian vests, added a layer of decoration and warmth without being over the top. Waistcoats remained in fashion from their debut until the 1980s.They were popular in the 1970s among the disco crowd (think Travolta in Saturday Night Fever), but when disco went out of style, so, too, did waistcoats. Today, as dapper Mad Men-esque men's fashion is becoming popular, the waistcoat is enjoying a revival. 

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