M973.49.5.1-2 | Frock coat and waistcoat

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Frock coat and waistcoat
1875-1900, 19th century
Gift of the Estate of A. D. Savage
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Suit (38)
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Keys to History

For an emerging social group, such as members of the upper or middle classes, consumption was both a means of self-affirmation and an expression of a new social standing. This was especially true in the area of clothing. The cut, the cloth, the accessories - everything indicated social status. Standards of what was appropriate for one's age, sex, marital status, as well as the occasion, had therefore to be respected. To dress tastefully, one also had to be attentive to the subtleties of fashion and deal with a highly regarded seamstress or tailor.

  • What

    A frock coat and waistcoat, made in Montreal by the tailors Gibb & Co. It is an elegant outfit, probably made to measure: the cloth is a wool herringbone weave with silk twill lapels.

  • Where

    By 1875 Gibb & Co. had been established in Montreal for close to a century. The tailor's shop was in Old Montreal, first on Notre Dame, then St. James.

  • When

    The frock coat and matching waistcoat were made between 1875 and 1900.

  • Who

    These clothes belonged to John George Savage (1840-1922), whose family was very successful in Montreal trade and industry. His father, Alfred Savage, owned a soap factory.