This portrait provides a good example of early 19th century men's fashion. Mr. Stearns wears a white shirt with the collar turned up (and heavily starched) and around his collar he wears a white "stock". This one has ruffles attached and is for more formal wear. His hairstyle is typical of the time period as well, with long sideburns and the front combed back. Most men of his time were clean-shaven. Having one's portrait painted was a special occasion that not all could afford so sitters usually donned their best clothing for the occasion.