In my research of the clothing I have tried to focus exclusively on British clothes from around the time of 1751. Some are a few decades before because I think it is likely people will be wearing older, outdated clothes, particularly the poor in Gin Lane.
In the 1700s menswear consisted of a coat, waistcoat and breeches which formed his suit. Sometimes all of these matched but later in the century three different materials were used, carefully selected to compliment eachother.
In 1730s coats had wide skirts with extra back and side pleats. The inner lining was often stiffened with buckram. Between 1740 and 1770, the width decreased and there were fewer side pleats. Coat fronts started to curve back and sleeves were lengthened and grew narrower. The front edges also slowed away and the the collar increased in height. Waistcoats also transitioned around this time and were gradually shortened around 1720. By the 1780s they were waist-length.
From 1720 to 1750s, breeches were lose and comfortable with a simple fly fastening. Greatcoats and thick capes were popular as outwear until the 1750s.
It was fashionable for very little of the shirt to be visible. Cravats were used and bands with matching cuffs, often decorated with fine lace which could be seen. Gowns were worn informally but more fitted with button fastenings instead of sashes. Sleeved waistcoats became less fashionable for informal wear and were only worn by older men.
[Information sourced from 'Costume History 1500-1900' by Valerie Cumming.]
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