Hot! Crazy Project Idea: Replicate this Suit

One of the things you may not know about me is that one of the things that drew me to the 18th century when I first started reenacting was, of all things, the menswear.  I have something of a love affair with 18th century mens fashion, and always have.  It’s part of what led me to be a girlfarb/galtroop for my first seven years or so in the hobby.  I rarely ever find gowns that I particularly fawn over, but give me a snappily-made frock coat or waistcoat and I will shortly be drooling.  I have a particular fondness for the 1750s-1760s era of fuller (but not huge) skirts and longer lines, and have long been a fan of blue, especially when contrasted with brown.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I came across this portrait of Thaddeus Burr by John Singleton Copley:

The suit Mr. Burr wears is impeccably tailored, is of a style smack dab in the middle of my favorite era, and is even in my favorite color scheme.  It’s like someone said “Hey Kelsey, we’re going to design a set of 18th century mens clothes just for you.” and this is what came out.

So, what was my reaction?

“I must make this.”

I wouldn’t be able to use it in any reenacting unit I belong to, as none of them allow women in men’s clothing.  I don’t really have anywhere that I could use this, save for possibly a private costumed event.  But damn, I really want to make this.  It has been far, far too long since I wore breeches.

What do you all think?  Is this idea awesome or is it silly?


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  1. That is a fantastic outfit. And I agree that blue and brown are a great color scheme. I think brown is really underrated. I have so much brown garb and brown fabric waiting to be turned into stuff. I think you should do it.

  2. DO IT. Seriously, do it. Do you know how good you’ll feel when slipping on those breeches & buttoning up the blue satin waistcoat? It’ll TOTALLY be worth it. You’ll look for events to wear it to. Hell, you might even hold some of your own just so you can wear it. Also, Halloween.

    (Hi! Just another fan of Colonial garb passing through. [My grandparents moved to Williamsburg when I was 3… grew up going there and absorbing Colonial history like a sponge.])

  3. So… any progress? I miss reading your posts and seeing your photos!

  4. It’s a very nice idea. LACMA’s website has a very interesting pattern section with patterns to this kind of waistcoat. You should take a look there.