Brides have a lot more options of beautiful and fancy wedding attire than grooms – wedding gowns, corsets, gloves, wedding jewelry and hair jewelry, different accessories, etc. But it doesn’t mean men can’t look deliciously elegant on the wedding day. Here is an example of a vintage groom’s shirt from mid-19th-century Spain, and it’s so ornate and spectacular! Just look at this delicate embroidery that covers the shirt.
This Spanish wedding shirt is dated 1830-1870. It is made from cotton. From the photo, we can tell that the fabric is of a lovely cream shade, although it’s hard to tell if this is the original color – maybe the shirt was white when made. Personally, we like this cream color a lot more than boring white.
But the most interesting and arresting thing about this shirt is the traditional embroidery on the front, collar, and cuffs. So skillfully made!
The embroidery is created with threads of the same color as the shirt itself, so there is no contrast, like we often see with needlework. We can see whitework and openwork here – lovely and complicated embroidery techniques. Thanks to this needlework, the surface of the shirt looks sheer and airy.
The embroidery patterns are mostly floral. Some of the flowers look like sunflowers and cornflowers, but, likely, they’re just symbolic depictions of florals. Also, we can see roosters here and there on the shirt – this bird is usually a symbol of masculinity, hope, self-confidence, and resurrection. Rather symbolic for a groom, isn’t it?
This mid-19th-century Spanish groom’s shirt looks wonderful and expensive. Of course, all of the needlework was done by hand, so this piece probably cost a fortune at the time. Today, when ethnic motifs are so popular around the world and many couples choose to wear some traditional attire or vintage clothing for their wedding, such a shirt would easily find a new owner if it was for sale. But this item is a museum exhibit from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and we can only admire it.