Clothing,  History,  Isobel Carr,  Regency

Sleeve Buttons, a Gentleman’s Accessory

Let’s have fun and look at a male accessory today. I give you sleeve buttons!

During the Georgian era shirts did not open all the way down the front (no matter what you see on covers). They had a partial neck-opening from the collar to about mid-chest. So the shirt had to be pulled off over the head. They buttoned closed at the throat, though this is hidden by the cravat. The cuffs of the shirts were generally wide (2”-3”) and buttoned closed in an overlapping fashion (like a modern dress shirt, not like a French cuff). I have found extant sleeve buttons (aka cuff links) dating back to the 18th century, but all the extant shirts I’ve seen have buttons; I have not seen shirt studs pre-Victorian). So while they may not have been a common accessory, they’re something a man could have worn and something you can use as a plot point.


Late Georgian sleeve cuff


Silver and paste sleeve buttons, late 18th century.
Silver and agate sleeve buttons, 1770s-1820s


Gold sleeve buttons, early 19th century.


Are there any clothing items or accessories you’re curious about? Let me know and I’ll cover them in future posts!

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carolyn jewel
5 years ago

Men’s underwear.

Elena Greene
5 years ago

Ooh, pretty sparklies! Thanks for sharing and post away on any aspect of clothing. I always get something new, even on topics I think I know fairly well.

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