"The Ulster Coat: John G. McGee"

  • Hannah Rumball (Presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


The Ulster Irish tailor, John Getty McGee laid claim to launching the ‘new’ men’s style of tailored overcoat, aptly named the Ulster, from his general outfitters in Belfast in 1866. While my previously published article on the subject has focused on the adoption and adaptation of the men’s tailored style by women for sporting and then fashionable use, this presentation returns to the garments origins, and its inventor. Little is written on the invention of the men’s Ulster in 1866, nor on its popularity and dissemination during the nineteenth century. Not a great deal is known about McGee despite his claim to fame. This presentation pieces together information from two surviving examples of McGee’s Ulster overcoat housed at Springhill Northern Ireland, a haphazard cash of letters written by McGee in the PRONI archives, period advertisements, and Jack McCoy’s “The Ulster Coat” in Irish Arts Review, to consider McGee as a tailor and businessman and the Ulster’s place in nineteenth century fashion and textile history.
Period29 Jan 2023
Event titleAt Home With c19th Dress and Textiles Reframed 29 January 2023: 19th Century Dress and Textiles Reframed 'At Home' meet & greet short talks celebrating the joy of research
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionInternational