Male attire – late Victorian and Edwardian

Queen Victoria died in 1901 and the Edwardian era followed from 1901-1910. Male clothing was similar across the late 19th century and the early 20th century, before the first world war. We can revisit Sarah Gye’s photo album for some pictures of men, dressed for formal photographs during this period.

Sarah had many siblings, who feature in the album. She was the aunt of Tom Gye (husband of Market Lavington Museum founder, Peggy) who was able to name his aunts and uncles for us. See Tom Gye’s Dad, Aunts and Uncles.

We have already seen Sarah’s father, James.

He died in 1901, so is wearing late Victorian clothing. The three piece lounge suit was very much the standard men’s wear at the time. The chain across James’ waistcoat would have been attached to a pocket watch.

His son, Joseph Edward, often called Teddy, was born in 1883, so must be wearing late 1880s clothes in this picture.

He has a suit worn with an Eton collar underneath. These collars were worn from the mid 19th century onwards, becoming very popular in Edwardian times. This photo predates Sarah’s album, so we cannot assume that all her pictures date from her receiving the album in 1897, as Joseph is obviously younger than fourteen in this image. Indeed, this later picture of him probably dates from the late 1890s.

He is now wearing a three piece suit, with the fashionable high pointed collar on his shirt and the outfit is topped off with a flat cap.

William Thomas’s clothing is similar, though worn with a watch and chain and a bowler hat.

Young Jeremiah George is dressed as the adults, with a three piece lounge suit and watch and chain. He has a bow tie and is carrying a hat, possibly a bowler.

We know this is a late Victorian outfit as he died as a young man in 1899. He had breathing difficulties and his nephew Tom Gye wondered if perhaps he had tuberculosis.

Our final male photo from Sarah’s album has not been named by the family.

He is probably wearing more formal attire. The jacket collar appears to be velvet and he has a top hat, which was more formal than a bowler or flat cap.

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