View Full Version : cold weather men's outerwear questions

03-04-2006, 11:01 PM
I have been looking for awhile with no luck on what civilian men wore when it was cold out. I need to 'upgrade' my husband's wardrobe.
This is what I have found --civilian sack suit coats, frock coats,gentleman's cape and great coat.
Are there any other coats?
What is a good choice for a hat for the cold weather?
Thank you for all the help! :D
Take Care,
Roxanne H.

Trish Hasenmueller
03-04-2006, 11:28 PM
I have read that many men used a double shawl for warmth and that it was Abraham Lincoln's favorite wrap. A double shawl is a piece of lightweight wool that's twice as long as it is wide so it can be folded in half to make a square and then folded on the diagonal to make a triangle. By the time it's folded, it's four layers of wool thick and very warm. Wool that's 54 or 60 inches wide makes a shawl big enough to cover a man's shoulders, back and torso. A good way to finish the edges is to just pull out enough threads all around to make a 1 inch fringe. A shawl this size can also double as a lightweight blanket in many circumstances.

03-05-2006, 02:05 AM
Thank you! :)

03-06-2006, 10:41 AM
As far as hats go, men did wear a knit "hood" that looked much like today's balaclavas. There are some patterns in, as I remember, Godey's for these.

03-06-2006, 09:10 PM
Dear Polly,
Thank you. That is wonderful to know.
Some of the gentlemen in our goupr will love knowing they
can keep their heads warmer.
Thank you again.

Carolann Schmitt
03-07-2006, 10:21 AM
Another coat is a paletot [pronounced pal (as in friend)-toe]. You'll find this term used to describe two very different garments.
- One is similar to a frock coat, except there is no waist seam on the front of the coat. This style was worn over a shirt, vest and trousers. Past Patterns has a pattern for an unlined summer paletot.
- The other is an outer garment that resembles a longer over-sized sack coat and was worn as an overcoat.

There was also an overcoat version of the frock coat, with a quilted lining in both the upper body (front and back) and the skirt. Bill Brown, author of Thoughts on Men's Shirts and the forthcoming Thoughts on Men's Vests, mentioned these during his presentation on men's coats at the conference last weekend; and we had an original frock coat with these features on display.

While researching my presentation on furs in fashion, I found many descriptions of fur-lined coats for men. Interestingly, one of the more common and less expensive furs used for this purpose was hamster. :-) There were also many references for fur collars and cuffs that could be added to men's coats, as well as fur hats. I included several images of these in my presentation.