An example of the late 19th Century’s adoption of masculine garments into women’s wear, this waistcoat is made from the same type of wool fabric woven with a small allover pattern used for men’s versions. Like its masculine equivalents, it is backed and lined in silk twill, and has the clearly defined lapels associated with the double breasted fastenings of menswear. The functioning mother of pearl buttons on the left of the front have been sewn on with long shanks, while the decorative ones on the right are attached close to the fabric. However, the waistcoat diverges from masculinity in its tight fit, with its internal hook and eye centre front fastening and boning ensuring the fashionable female line dictated by the corset beneath. A blouse or shirt and tie would be seen at the open neckline, although some surviving women’s waistcoats of this date are fastened to the neck and have high collars.