Wedding outfits in the 19th century were rather sophisticated. Even today, a lot of grooms wear imitations of 19th-century dress suits, with their extravagant cravats, hats, walking sticks, and other lovely accessories. But not only universal Western-style groomswear was popular at the time. Instead, men often dressed in traditional clothing for their wedding. Here is an example of Swedish groom’s full set of wedding clothes from the early-mid 19th century. It looks both elegant and traditional.
This set of folk wedding clothing is from Sweden, 1800-1850. It is stored in the American Swedish Institute.
The costume consists of a white shirt, a bright red vest, light calfskin breeches, a long black coat, a red skullcap, woolen socks, and traditional shoes.
The shirt called “skjorta” is white linen adorned with traditional red embroidery.
On top of it, is a red woolen vest with decorative silver buttons. The vest has fringed edges on the collar.
The off-white breeches called “knäbyxor” are made from calfskin and have ornate brass buttons. The breeches have a front flap, as was fashionable in the 19th century. There were no zippers yet, so men had to be inventive. Most trousers were just tied at the waist with a cord or belted, but then, a front flap was invented, which allowed going to the toilet easier. The top button you see in the photo serves the same purpose as our modern pants’ button, and the 5 buttons below fasten the front flap.
Here’s a similar front flap for you to understand how it all worked.
Photo from Nationalclothing.org
The long black woolen coat serves as outerwear. It is warm and elegant. In the 1800s, such an outer garment was rather costly. Also, it has a nice decorative detail at the back.
A lovely bright accessory worn as a part of this attire is a red woolen skullcap called “mössa”.
Another cute accessory is a pair of hand-knit red&white woolen cuffs with fringe. They look unusual and adorable.
Of course, no festive or wedding attire could go without socks and shoes. In this case, men wore high woolen socks in natural white color and embellished with red traditional needlework. And the shoes were low, black, with large silver buckles on top.