16th-19th Centuries Gentlemen’s Banyans. Banyan’s were worn before the Georgian Era and continued to be popular through the Regency and Victorian Eras for Men’s At-Home Fashion. After this, banyans were replaced buy shorter smoking jackets, yet all through these many hundred years banyans served the same purpose of being a comfortable yet respectable item of clothing that could be worn at home by men when they spent time in the evenings with family or friends.
Fabrics imitating animal patterns and colors appeared in European fashionable dress as early as the 18th century, when elaborate trompe l’oeil silk designs emulated exotic furs intertwined with expensive laces. Such fabrics communicated a sense of luxury, wealth and power. Cultural crossdressing was a long-established tradition among merchants working in the East. While it helped them to assimilate into the local community, adopting exotic forms of dress at home also played an important part in fashioning their identity as a worldly traveller. International experience heightened social standing so wearing a banyan showed a high social status. Surviving garments from the 18th and 19th centuries show that it changed little over time, other than to loosely reflect the fashionable line of menswear of the period in the cut of the skirts, choice of collar and fit of the body.
Love the Bridgerton Series? Fan of Jane Austen? What did men wear in the early 1800s? Suits, hats, shoes, underclothing, military and bedroom fashions. #Bridgerton #RegencyFashion #JaneAusten #BritishHistory.
A Regency Era, or early 1800s, gentleman was outfitted in more practical fabrics, such as wool, cotton and buckskin rather than the fussy brocades and silks of the late 1700s. French fashions and Georgian and Regency Era fashions from Great Britain were copied around the world. Take a look at the outfits worn by gentlemen in the Bridgerton series and in Jane Austen’s lifetime. https://books2read.com/SuziLoveFashionMen1800-1819
1780 ca. Gold Silk Banyan, British. For at-home wear, a gentleman had a dressing gown, often with a matching waistcoat, and an undress cap or turban. “This yellow damask banyan with its bold Chinese Chippendale – inspired pattern would have been an imposing sight on the streets or in the drawing rooms of London.” via Metropolitan Museum New York City, U.S.A. metmuseum.org Credit: Catharine Breyer Van Bomel Foundation Fund, 1978 Accession Number:1978.135.1
From the Curator: ‘For at-home wear, a gentleman had a dressing gown, often with a matching waistcoat, and an undress cap or turban.As for breeches, they were not designed especially for this casual ensemble, but rather borrowed from other suits.The dressing gown was cut like a man’s loose coat and usually hung to the floor, though there were also versions that stopped below the knees. Since there were no fastenings, the wearer overlapped the dressing gown in front when he walked so that the sides did not billow out behind him.The sleeves were originally rolled back to form cuffs, but later dressing gowns display the fashionable cuff of their period.In England these dressing gowns were called “banyans” or “Indian nightgowns” because of their kimono-like form and Eastern origin. Banyans were made in a variety of fabrics, including silk brocades, damasks, and printed cottons. By the 1780s, gentlemen ventured out of doors in this comfortable and stylish costume. According to Town and Country Magazine in 1785: “Banyans are worn in every part of the town from Wapping to Westminster, and if a sword is occasionally put on it sticks out of the middle of the slit behind. This however is the fashion, the ton, and what can a man do? He must wear a banyan.”This yellow damask banyan with its bold Chinese Chippendale – inspired pattern would have been an imposing sight on the streets or in the drawing rooms of London.’ via Metropolitan Museum New York City, U.S.A. metmuseum.org
1812-1814 Ca. White Muslin Peignoir Or Dressing Gown, British. The sort of robe Jane Austen would have worn. Fabric made in India, Garment made in Britain. Wrap-over gown with round, slightly raised collar, gathered trimmings, narrow shoulder frills, excessively long sleeves with wristbands. Muslin dyed in the ikat technique, Malay term for complex tie-resist dyeing where warp threads dyed to form pattern before weaving. White with blue and red blurred warp.
via Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. collections.vam.ac.uk Credit: Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.