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The Mens waistcoat is not always popular or fashionable , but is always stylish and versatile. It can be worn with a formal suit in a matching fabric, or in a contrast fabric and colour. It can be  plain and elegant, or it can be very flamboyant.  And it can be a magnificent addition to a mans wardrobe when they are well cut and in the right fabric. At the moment the waistcoat is again fashionable.

There are tartan waistcoats,  denim waistcoats and  leather waistcoats. Over the years I have made all types of waistcoats for many different shapes.

PHONE – 07905-965-305 ( BILL )


Waistcoats are not too difficult to cut because they have no sleeves, but they do have to be cut well. There are a lot of very badly fitting, horrible waistcoats around, particularly in the wedding market. Waistcoats should  enhance your own shape rather than subtract from it. They should fit snugly with a high armhole and smooth shoulders and body. Waistcoats should not be loose and shapeless. The choice of interfacing is very important with any garment, especially tailored garments. A good interfacing should enhance the fabric.


Formal mens waistcoats originated in 1666 at the royal court of King Charles II where they were recognised as proper court attire. These sleeveless doublets, worn in bright colours and flamboyant designs,  became very popular during this time.

In the mid 19th century during the Dandy era, mens waistcoats had a resurgence in popularity. Worn as a plainer, tighter garment, they served as an under garment, sometimes with boning stays and laced backs to provide body shaping.

At the end of the 19th century they became a necessary  part of the businessmans wardrobe. Before wrist watches became common, pocket watches would often be kept in the waistcoat pocket and kept in place with a chain inserted into an extra buttonhole for this purpose. As braces, rather than belts would be used to hold the suit trousers up, the waistcoat could be used to cover the braces.


Most waistcoats are single breasted with two pockets, front darts and a classic V neck. They have a fabric front with a lining back. There are a great many other variations. Some double breasted, others with a notch collar,  or a shawl collar, or peak collar.  The back may have waist  darts, or a buckled belt. A bespoke tailored waistcoat may have a chest dart into the front arm scye, or the suppression may be transferred into the waist dart.


A slip vest is a very simple but elegant addition to a mans wardrobe. It is made to be worn  underneath a contrasting  mens waistcoat. Attached  with a set of buttons, It is constructed of either one or two pieces of Marcella cotton, Normally just the front neck edge of the slip vest will show, giving the appearance of wearing two waistcoats. While the fashion dates back to the 19th century, it has regained popularity in recent years. A slip vest is usually made along with the waistcoat in order for it to sit correctly underneath. But it is also possible to make a slip vest to fit an existing mens waistcoat.

PHONE – 07905-965-305 ( BILL )


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