Top 10 19th-Century Men’s Accessories

With menswear-inspired womenswear making another comeback, we thought we’d take a peek at historic men’s accessories. Some have been adopted by women, others remain intact, and still more have dissipated into the fog of history. Which accessories qualify as the best known to man (and woman)? Read on to find out!

10. Pocket Squares. These haute handkerchiefs, once seen only in the pockets of formal wear-sporting men, became an option for women too, once the women’s blazer came into being.
9. Waistcoat Buttons. Vest buttons were once interchangeable and served as one of men’s few jewelry options.
8. Suspenders. Residing at the intersection of function and fashion, suspenders, donned here by various Weardrobe users, were once an integral part to getting (and staying) dressed.
7. Boater. Even when worn ashore, this straw hat was all that!
6. Gloves. Key to creating a formal menswear ensemble in centuries past, these elegant accessories are now a well-known way for women to take a ‘hands on’ approach to fashion.
5. Bowtie. If these Internet fashionistas are to be believed, this ‘bow-dacious’ accessory is already making a comeback!
4. Fob Watch. Also known as a pocket watch, these accessories are also making a return!
3. Ascot. With all its ruffles and flair, this item, sported by model Chanel Iman at left, is enough to leave anyone ‘tounge-tied.’
2. Top Hat. This terrific topper is, one might say, olden elegance incarnate.
1. Monocle. This dapper accessory, as once worn by actress Heather Thatcher, was both a sight for sore eyes, and sight for poor eyes!

What do you think of the current menswear trend? Do any of these accessories inspire you?

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  1. MacKenzie 06/15/2010 at 11:28 am #

    I totally wear Bowties and Neckties, they are some of my favorite accessories!!

  2. Julie (ModCloth) 06/15/2010 at 12:16 pm #

    My brother might wear a top hat to his wedding in August!

  3. AnonymousGirl 06/15/2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I have an obsession with pocket watches; its nice to see them coming back into style!

  4. The D 06/15/2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Bow ties are cool!

  5. jill 06/15/2010 at 12:48 pm #

    my husband is a big fan of the pocket watch, pocket square and occasionally a bowtie (only when he’s teaching!)

  6. The Girl in the Paper Dress 06/15/2010 at 3:27 pm #

    I made a necklace out of a monocle I found at a thrift store! I love them. They remind me of the king’s assistant in Disney’s Cinderella.

  7. Susie 06/15/2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Fob Watches are awesome! And I can’t help but wonder how much the Eleventh Doctor in “Doctor Who” has contributed to the revival of suspenders and bow ties (lol @ The D’s comment above). I do know that he’s credited for saving the Harris Tweed industry and that David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor sparked a renewed interest in Converses. I wonder if the recurring storyline revolving around a fob watch also has to do with its new found popularity…

  8. moony 06/15/2010 at 7:26 pm #

    i agree with susie that fob watches are indeed fab. i like pocket squares, too. and you can never go wrong with a nice pair of cufflinks.

  9. Amanda 06/16/2010 at 12:30 pm #

    I’m happy to see gloves make a slight comeback with women, but I would be absolutely bowled over with swooning if they made a comeback for men….Oooh la la.

    Also, top hats? Yes, please!

  10. Jessica M. 06/16/2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Love bowties and suspenders, my husband is a big fan of pocket watches and watches in general and also wears a pocket square to every special event 😀

    Also to Julie…top hat at his wedding sounds awesome 🙂

  11. Susan 06/16/2010 at 4:33 pm #

    LOVE IT!!!! Best top ten post yet!

  12. Hannah (ModCloth) 06/17/2010 at 9:10 am #

    @ Susan – Thanks 😀

  13. Clare 06/18/2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m really getting into Boater hats!! They are so adorable with little sundresses or rompers, and you can own just one and switch out the ribbons around it.
    Love them!!

  14. kaif 06/22/2010 at 11:30 pm #

    on my wedding, I would like to buy a top hat for my grandpa. in parties he luvs to put on a top hat, tie and pochette. have already ordered tie and pochette from and yet to take hat. need to make a physical visit along with my grandpa and buy soon.

  15. Bonita 06/28/2010 at 4:23 am #

    Well I do have to give modern gentlemen some props because they don’t have their women to take care of them. Most Victorian/ Edwardian gentlemen don’t do things themselves. So there are always their woman caring for them.

    Before I met my boyfriend I asked him to pose in a top hat. I thought he looked cute, he has sideburns too…and he is from this era!

  16. Robert 08/17/2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I am a sucker for suspenders! I always thought suspenders are a great look on a guy!

  17. lilly adams 09/23/2010 at 3:05 pm #

    While shopping for accessories for guys I saw this cool little thing called a Tie Snug. It holds your tie in perfect place all day without having to adjust it at all. I ordered one for my Husband and he loves it. Check out

  18. William 10/07/2010 at 9:42 pm #

    In regards to gloves, I don’t think we will ever see the days where guys will wear gloves

  19. Terrie27Lott 07/20/2011 at 2:35 pm #

    If you are in not good state and have no cash to go out from that, you will need to take the loan. Because it should aid you definitely. I take student loan every single year and feel myself great because of it.

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