1920s cream silk satin jacquard full dress vest or waistcoat has shawl lapels and three welt pockets, one at the chest and two at the waist. The “stripes” of the richly textural jacquard alternate between horizontal ribs and a basketweave-like pattern.
The vest closes with 4 Krementz shell-inlaid bodkin clutch vest buttons (these were introduced by the company c.1911), which are silver metal rimmed in front, and shiny rolled gold in back. The bodkin clutch portion of the button is concealed within an inner placket, presumably to protect the fabric of the dress shirt (photo #5).
Lined in polished cotton, as are the pockets, the vest has a cream silk satin back which adjusts via the silver metal buckle on the martingale, stamped “SOLIDE”. An elastic loop for anchoring the center of a swagged watch chain is attached to the placket over the button clutches (photo #11). A museum deaccession, the vest has an inventory number written inside the button placket.
No labels; this would have been part of a full dress, white tie evening suit, and the tailor’s label was likely inside the tailcoat. (Photo #9 shows examples of period white tie dressing, from the Spring/Summer 1926 Globe Tailoring Co catalogue).
Measurements are: Chest 35”, waist 32”, length at front points 22.5”, and length center back to bottom 20”.
Condition is good/very good, with the lustrous jacquard and the silk of the vest back clean and bright, with just a hint of darkening at the very top and left underarm of the vest back (photo #10). The back center seam has opened for 1” near the very bottom. There is foxing inside the vest, inside both sides of the button placket, especially around the top 2 buttonholes, and for about 2” along the inside right seam (photos #11 and #12). The vest presents handsomely despite these issues, which are invisible while worn.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
1920s Cream Silk Men’s Vest or Waistcoat w/Krementz Shell Buttons S