How might Higgins have dressed?

In the mid 18th century, Gentlemen wore a coat, waistcoat, shirt, breeches, stockings, wig and hat.
The ideal was a portrayal of nonchalance; of effortless yet fashionable style. Well tailored woollen clothes more suited to outdoor country pursuits were worn except at the most formal of occasions where silks and velvets would have been worn. These less formal garments were referred to as undress as opposed to full dress for formal occasions. Today we still refer to dress shirts for formal wear.
The coat had narrower skirts than in the early part of the century.  The frock coat, with its wide collar, was worn for country pursuits such as hunting.
The waistcoat could have sleeves or not.
The shirt was linen with full sleeves, gathered at the wrist.  Undress shirt sleeves ended in plain wrist bands while full dress shirts had ruffles of fine fabric or lace.
The breeches, now noticeable under the shorter waistcoat, were knee length, fitted closely and had a fall-front opening.  Made of wools, silks, cottons, linens, knits or leathers
The stockings were silk or woollen.
Shoes were low healed, made of leather and fastened with buckles.
Boots were worn for riding.
Neckwear would be a neck handkerchief for undress or a stock for full dress.
The wig, if worn, was short and usually tied back (the tye or bag wig) for the fashionable – though long wigs were still popular with the older generation – and made with a lot of white powder.  Wigs were worn for formal occasions.
The cocked hat had a wide brim turned up on three sides.
The banyan was a loose, informal robe to be worn instead of a coat. Influenced by Oriental fashion, these popular robes were also called Indian gowns, nightgowns, or wrappers. Cut either in a loose T-shape or as a long simplified coat, they were acceptable wear for home or informal business. Made most often of patterned materials, these useful garments could vary from light and cool to quilted and warm.


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