By the end the eighteenth-century men became more severe in their dress, depending for appearance more on line and cut than on ornament. Uniforms followed the fashion and this plate shows an officer of the Royal Artillery just at the outbreak of the wars with Napoleon. His dress is simple, practical and becoming. On active service the skirts of the coat would have been buttoned back to allow freer movement of the legs. In the coat shown here the skirts are permanently turned back producing the tails familiar recently in evening dress. The plain white waistcoat and breeches were almost universal in the army at this time, as was the white lining to the skirts, which had previously been of the facing colour. The hat has nearly lost the front ‘cock’ and become bicorne in shape. The officer wears a black silk stock over his white cravat, and soft black leather boots with stiff tops. The aiguillette has become a gold epaulette. One of these, on the right shoulder, denoted a subaltern or captain; two denoted a field officer. This uniform was changed little during the Napoleonic wars. By 1800 the lapels were usually worn buttoned across the chest and shortly afterwards the hat was replaced by a chaco (A military cap of cloth and leather, formerly worn by the infantry in the British army, having the form of a truncated cone with a peak in front). This outfit survived until King George IV was able to let his imagination loose on the dress of the army. Source: Water-colour drawing by Edward Dayes, in possession of the regiment.