Accessories and Outerwear

Photograph of a man with a stand collar and tie, by Laprés & Lavergne, Montréal, Québec

Photograph of a man with a stand collar and tie, by Laprés & Lavergne, Montréal, Québec 1889-1899, Photo © CMC

As menswear became simpler, men expressed their personal style in accessories. The pocket watch, worn by John A. Macdonald around 1874, is an example of a man’s luxury ornaments. Neck accessories such as the detachable collar, tie, cravat and stock — a band that ties or fastens at the back of the neck — were available to all men. To complete the ensemble, a top hat was the final addition to any respectable man’s wardrobe.

During the cold winter months, Canadian men kept warm in fur coats. The Honourable Erskine Henry Bronson, Ottawa alderman (1886–1898) and Ontario Cabinet Minister (1872–1896), wore a greatcoat made of beaver fur, manufactured by R.J. Devlin of Ottawa. Devlin’s design was distinctive, including braid and toggle fastenings that were so popular among the Members of the Legislative Assembly that it was necessary to write one’s name in the lining to make sure that men left with the right coat after meetings.