Two influences on male fashion
Under the Empire, the male figure is solid, but still just as elegant as its female counterpart. A black frockcoat sits on the shoulders, and a white cravat is knotted around the neck. He wears a pair of pumps (without heel) and finally a top-hat or bicorne adorns the head. There are two key influences in this outfit:
The English influence came from the return of the French émigrés, whose anglomania was most reflected in the day to day wearing of the frockcoat, a long, three-quarter length coat that extended at the back, and which was invented for gentlemen horseriders. The frockcoat was very modern in appearance and could be adapted to suit the seasons, adding Astrakhan fur to the collar and inside lining for winter. Colours varied from black to grey, tobacco or even meadow green.
Unsurprisingly, this influence came directly from the Emperor, Napoleon. Rather than creating an actual civilian uniform (even if that is indeed what happened for the numerous civil servants that were present during the Empire), one or two elements of the military influence instead left their mark on male fashion of the period. First of all, it was important that the outfit be imposing and manly. The trousers were knitted or twill and the leather breeches were to be tight-fitting and give an idea of the musculature of the body. In order to look more like an actual soldier, the collar would be thickly padded and the coat would be cloth-lined. The cuffs were sometimes pointed. The frockcoats were generally double-breasted, but would become single-breasted towards the end of the Empire.
In the same style, the wearing of boots also became popular. The English style 'high-top' boots were initially in fashion; gradually the 'Souvarov' boot, with glazed-yellow roll-up, replaced them. Gaiters were also worn from about 1804 until about 1810 when silk-based pumps came into fashion.