Sunday, April 25, 2010

full dress tailcoat

Full dress evening suit. Circa 1940's.
Every so often I realize how lucky I am when I am assigned work like this. A set of tails and trousers. They are going to look for a stock waistcoat but since the gentleman is quite tall 6'4" and a size 44, I may get to make that too.
One of the things I do before drafting a pattern is consult some research on my own. I like to get a feel for what the period details are, I had notes on a donated 1938 tailcoat and below, I have a picture from a 1933 tailor sample book as well as a description from a 1935 Progressive Tailor magazine. I have some reference from the early fifties but I don't think that is quite the style we are looking for so I am going to use the earlier references with a bit of modification for the tails we will make.
I looked at one reference from 1943- another tailor's order book and realized that there was a ban (in the U.S.A.) for the general public on ordering certain suits. No double breasted tuxedos, or tailsuits. In fact only the clergy was allowed to order either morning coats or frock coats. Of course, what the rules were for the general public, often didn't apply to people with money and connections, but there you have it.
I have cut the trousers with a high waist, as they ought to be, and the designer likes pleats so I am giving them two forward pleats. I will be using a silk grosgrain for the trouser stripe. For the jacket I will consult some of the period drafting references I have but I usually combine that information with my own drafting methods to make the pattern.


  1. Can you make me a pattern of this ? please Email Thank's!

  2. Hi, sorry but I don't usually provide a pattern only service, and I am fully booked right now.

  3. Hi Terri,
    I'd like to speak to you about these documents as part of my ongoing research of black tie. Please email me at peter @ blacktieguide dot com. Thanks,