Pink was a popular colour for men’s dress, particularly in the 1770s during the period of the Macaronis – as young dandies, who dressed in the latest French and Italian styles on returning from the Grand Tour were known. This waistcoat is typical in style for the 1770s; the skirts have shortened to the top of the thigh. Many 18th-century waistcoats are embellished in some fashion, and embroidery was a characteristic method of decoration. On this example, machine-made net has been appliquéd to the pink silk and embroidered around the edges.
There were many inventions in the second half of the eighteenth century attempting to create machine-made net, based on adaptations of the mechanised stocking-frame. The machine-made version was much less expensive than hand-made net, and it became a popular material for decorating garments and accessories.