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In his diary on June 1, 1772, George Washington described Virginia summers as "very hot & Sultry." To offset the extreme temperatures, gentlemen like Washington wore suits made of light weight and breathable white cotton. Washington would have likely worn this cotton waistcoat with matching breeches as he surveyed his farms in the morning, only to change into more formal day wear when he returned to the mansion to greet or entertain guests.

See also breeches, W-1515.


A man's straight-breasted waistcoat made of white twill cotton and a white linen lining. The right-hand buttoning waistcoat closes with fifteen buttons fashioned from circular pieces of white cotton twill stitched over pasteboard disks. Each button has a corresponding button hole that is edged in white thread. The waistcoat front panels are cut with a wide spread point, a shallow skirt and tail. They also feature two scalloped pocket flaps, one on either side. The front panels are lined in white linen, whereas the rear panels are a single layer of cotton. The hip vents extend to the waist while the central seam is left open for three quarters of the back. The two finished edges also have twelve eyelets on either side, set for spiral lacing.





Cotton, linen, pasteboard


Overall: 30 1/2 in. x 39 7/8 in. (77.47 cm x 101.27 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Walter Gibson Peter, Jr. in memory of Agnes Peter Mott, 1975

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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