The working clothes worn by men changed in appearance
between the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Farm labourer pictured wearing a smock.
Stockings, breeches, wide-cut shirt, waistcoat, jacket and hat were the
common attire at the turn of the 19th century. By about 1840, working
men were wearing full length trousers. Collarless shirts and waistcoats
remained, though the wearing of coloured handkerchiefs tied round the
neck became more common. Nearly all men wore hats, the designs of which
altered frequently. The young labourer pictured is wearing a smock, perhaps
the countryside's most distinctive garment. Smocks were not worn by every
countryman, and the smocks of those that did would vary in material, colour
and in length. The embroidered patterns on the breast were added to the
smock designs during the 19th century.