Dinner Jacket or Dress Coats Men and Women

Dress coats are seen less than in previous periods, although they are still occasionally worn. They are always worn open, although they are cut as though they are double-breasted. The fronts are cut away, sometimes straight and sometimes with points. The long below-the-knee skirts at the back are slit in the centre to the waist. The style of dress coats vary only slightly from that of the earlier part of the century. The fronts become so small that they can barely meet and they just covered the waistcoat. The shoulders are more square and the lapels are cut quite large. Sometimes only the collar or lapels are silk faced. Sleeves are often slit and ended with three to four buttons. Towards the end of the decade it is more usual to wear a dinner jacket than tails. If tails or dress coats are necessary, it is quite usual to hire them for a specific occasion. Avery deep navy or midnight blue material become popular for dinner jackets as it is supposed to appear a deeper black in artificial lighting than the usual black barathea. Dinner jackets are generally double-breasted as the necessity for waistcoats is less. Lapels are wide and pointed, or else the collars can be of the deep shawl variety. Continuous roll collars are also popular.
Double-breasted dinner jackets generally only have two buttons while the single-breasted styles have just a single button. All dinner jackets have an outside breast pocket on the left to hold a handkerchief which can be folded to show either one or two points. Many dinner jackets have two hip pockets which can be flapped or jetted. Back vents are not unusual. Many jackets, to give them a better shape, have darts in the front from the breast pocket to the hip pockets. The shape and length of dinner jackets followed the styles of the day lounge suit jackets, being very similar in cut.

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