Here’s what Kelly says: “Brummell wore sheer black silk jersey, made up as breeches for Carlton House or the theater, and as pantaloons for the clubs.” Further on we learn, “They were not always stocking woven, however. Brummell and Jonathan Meyer the tailor pioneered an alternative style that attempted to replicate in fabric or leather the three-dimensional form-fitting style of stockings or silk jersey stockinette.” I can only assume that this was a way to reduce the sag factor. Impossible to imagine Brummell wearing saggy anything. He was all about the perfect fit, and the fit was form-fitting and extremely revealing. According to Kelly, “society hostesses were later said to regret the passing of the fashion because ‘one could always tell what a young man was thinking.’”
This is a fine book for Regency era history nerds because it’s loaded with all kinds of fascinating trivia. It was made into a movie, which is delightful if you want to look at period clothes and scenery and James Purefoy (and I am one who does and did). But don’t expect a screenplay bearing much relation to the book--or history, for that matter.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.