Item 2017.081.2 - Montague Burton Three Piece Suit - Waistcoat

Identity area

Reference code

2017.081.2

Title

Montague Burton Three Piece Suit - Waistcoat

Date(s)

  • 1930s (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

1

Context area

Name of creator

(1900-1969)

Administrative history

Montague Burton Ltd was founded in the early 1900s by Jewish immigrant Montague Burton (1885-1952). Born a Lithuanian Jew named Meshe David Osinsky, he travelled to the north of England in 1900 and quickly entered the men's tailoring trade, changing his name at some point after his arrival. After starting with a shop selling menswear he began manufacturing and adopted the multiple tailoring model pioneered by the Leeds-based tailoring trade. Multiple tailors had high street stores selling made-to-measure men's suits (and smaller numbers of ready-to-wear) which were cut and sewn in factories owned by the same business. By the end of the 1930s Montague Burton Ltd had over 700 outlets across Great Britain and Ireland and their Hudson Road factory in Leeds was the biggest clothing factory in Europe.

Burton became the label for Montague Burton Ltd in 1954 after a company restructure and merger with Jackson the Tailor. This resulted in a complete redesign and launch of a comprehensive new advertising campaign aimed at young male consumers. In 1969 the company became the Burton Group. Its demerger in 1997 led to the establishment of the Arcadia Group.

In 1946 the company purchased the Peter Robinson department store and in 1968 it was the top floor of Sheffield's Peter Robinson which was the origin of Top Shop. Aimed at selling fashionable clothes to 15-25 year-old women it was immediately successful and became a retail chain in its own right. Burton attempted to reach young men with the Mr Burt label and stores in the early 1970s but they were not profitable. In 1978 after a major restructure and store closures the company again tried to cater to the young male fashion market with the launch of Top Man - by 1980 they had expanded to 45 shops.

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Scope and content

Black wool single breasted vest or waistcoat - part of a three-piece suit. It has a v-neck and fastens down the front with six black buttons. It has four slanted pockets - two chest and two at waist. The fronts were pointed but have been altered by taking up the points to the underside and stitching. The back is made of black cotton sateen and has a back strap with a black japanned two prong metal buckle with 'BRITISH' embossed into it. It is lined in cream striped cotton. There is a factory label on the inside of the left top pocket.
Country of Design: England
Country of Manufacture: England
Keywords: Formal day wear

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Wool, cotton
Colour/Print: Black, cream
Details: Two prong metal buckle

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Alternative Identifier

TA.BU.1b - 2017

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