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Throughout his life George Washington took a keen interest in fashion. This standing collar and false double-breasted front of this finely embroidered silk waistcoat represented the height of style in the 1780s. In an effort to preserve the waistcoats' utility, it was later cut down and the collar adjusted and fitted with lapels to conform to the "handsome" fashions of the 1790s.


A man's false double-breasted and square-cut waistcoat with a standing collar of green and brown changeable silk embroidered with polychrome feathers and flora. The left-hand buttoning waistcoat closes with ten buttons fashioned from pieces of the silk stitched over wood disks. Each button has a corresponding button hole that is edged in green silk thread. The front panels also feature two straight welt pockets, one on either side. The front panels are anchored to a plain linen ground that both line the garment and provide the shape of waistcoat. The two back panels are made of the same linen fabric and are almost fully joined along the length of the seam, leaving a small vent at the center back. In addition, four plain woven tapes are sewn on either side of the center seam, in two vertical rows of two.


c. 1775-1785



Silk, linen, iron, wood


Overall: 18 7/8 in. x 36 in. (47.93 cm x 91.44 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1964


Written in blue felt tip permanent marker on the folded end of a piece of adhesive tape affixed next to the center seam of the left rear panel of the waistcoat: "W-2246" and "A-1137."

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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