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The Tailor's Art


Creation of the Manís Suit
The Suit in the 19th Century
Menís Dressing Gown and Waistcoat Fabrics
Menís Accessories in the 19th Century
Neckties and Cravats
Menís Accessories in the 20th Century
Tailoring for Women
Appropriating the Dandy
Contrast Between the Modern Suit and Feminine Fashion
Mid-Century America: Conformity in Suburbia
Mid-Century Humor: Conversational Textiles
Counterculture Menswear
Contemporary Tailoring for Men
Menswear Fabrics - A Glossary



The term passementerie refers to narrow trimmings applied as borders on clothing and furnishings. Trimmings could be functional Ė e.g., to strengthen buttonholes Ė but they were also ornamental. Braid on the outside of trousers, for example, made the legs appear longer. Fundamentally, however, passementerie emerged as a signifier of rank within the military and, therefore, a signifier of power. In fact, the military uniform was integral to the aesthetic formation of the masculine image. Stiff wool and crisply tailored uniforms reinforced an erect posture, while gold embroidery accentuated a broad chest and long, powerful legs.


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All photographs by Irving Solero, courtesy of the Museum at FIT, unless otherwise noted.