I hope you don’t mind me publishing this?
But yeah, wide lapels would make the most sense—and in fact, looking again at Grantaire’s gilet à la Robespierre, it’s scarlet and he shows off its pointed lapels.
And I guess Hugo and Gautier have a bit of a squabble about whether Gautier had a Robespierre waistcoat…?
There seems to have been a lot of debate about who wore what in general. Romantic Fashion Statements were apparently SRS BSNS— I wasn’t joking about Gautier having AN ENTIRE CHAPTER about his waistcoat in the memoirs.
…It seems like there should be a joke there but that’s it, that’s the joke, I don’t know what I could possibly add. ACTUAL ROMANTICS ARE THE MOST RIDICULOUS.I’m leaning towards lapel shape being the key factor. Certainly from fashion history texts, it indicates they are high and turned down. Not as sure about size of the lapels, although there were certainly oversized lapels in the era. The fashion dictionary source is more about them being 1.) high and 2.) turned down, which I suspect relates to the Robespierre collar women wore in the Edwardian period.
You’re probably right. Regarding the size—there was that spell with the Incroyables and their exaggerated, oversized lapels, and I have the sense that that got popularly mixed into a general image of Revolutionary Fashion (…ironically, I guess). I wonder to what extent that image persisted into the 19th century?
Can’t be high and turned down without being oversized for the period! 1830s men usually had small shawl collar-like lapels on their waistcoats. The whole deal with the Robespierre waistcoat was that the lapels were big enough to fall outside the coat! Obviously calling it after Robespierre is a bit arbitrary considering the range of collars that got labeled as such, and the Incroyable look certainly got mixed in there without considering their politics… Oh, the 19th century.