How to Wear a Waistcoat, 1860

illustration of two men looking at each other, one with checked vest and trousers “What a handsome waistcoat you have on!”
Gazette of Fashion, 1872

“Dear Past, How should a man wear a waistcoat?”

A gentleman should always be so well dressed that his dress shall never be observed at all. Does this sound like an enigma? It is not meant for one. It only implies that perfect simplicity is perfect elegance, and that the true test of taste in the toilette of a gentleman is its entire harmony, unobtrusiveness and becomingness. If any friend should say to you, ‘What a handsome waistcoat you have on!’ you may depend that a less handsome waistcoat would be in better taste.

Mixing in Society

This is a good method for taste-testing your toilette. And also for ridiculing the garish waistcoats of your acquaintances.