On 8 May, I posted an album of photos of a vintage 1930s full suit of evening wear, tailcoat and trousers. I also said that it would be posted here for auction in the coming week. Well, two and a half months later here it is:
A beautifully cut piece in excellent condition for its age. My best educated guess puts this garment in the late 1930s/ early 1940s, back when there were still a fair number of men who had occasion to wear full evening dress. The chest measures just over 20 inches across, and will fit a man who normally wears a 40 long, with the tails falling just to the knee on a man of about 6 feet. Sleeves measure 26 inches, shoulders 19 across.
Beautifully constructed with a nipped waist, curved back seams and pleated tails. This is the most complicated piece of menswear outside of military dress uniforms to see any regular use in the last hundred years or so, and truly an excellent example of the category.
Broad peaked lapels faced in old fashioned thickly corded grosgrain silk. The wool is jet black and fairly thick, almost the weight of a smooth flannel. Not a piece to buy now and wear tomorrow, but a real stunner come New Year's Eve, or just for the opera and theatre season.
The trousers measure 16 inches across the waist, fitting a 33/34 inch waist. They have a very high 15 inch rise, which keeps them in line with the short waist of the jackets front. Double pleated, elegantly full cut through the legs, plain hems (of course), 32 inch inseam with up to 2 inches to let down. Held up by braces attached to the outside of the waist band.
Button fly closure,
About an inch of fabric to be had in waist,
Matching grosgrain silk stripe down the outseam,
I'll be accepting bids on this suit via email at email@example.com throughout the week. So if you're tall and thin, and you have any reason at all to wear such a thing, make me an offer. The last time I had such a thing for sale, it came to a showdown between a concert pianist and a professional tap dancer. Maybe this time we can get a violin player and a magician...or at least someone clothes mad with enough dash to pull it off. Happy bidding!
This could be you.....
24 July 2012 : SOLD That one went up quick, and the bidding is now closed. Thank you one and all for your interest. Congratulations, Mr. D.N. Wear it in good health.
p.s. for a full range of much easier to wear items in a range of sizes, don't forget to visit our booth at the Davis Flea this Sunday, 29 July, 10a.m.-4 p.m.