I agree. Beau Brummel had a LOT to do with wringing the neck of the male peacock by insisting on colorless good taste. He didn't do it single-handedly, of course –– there's that whole grave, gloomy, righteously gloomy Victorian-man-thing looming right over the horizon, cheek to jowl with the grey Industrial Revolution –– but ol' Beau can take a goodly part of the blame.
But what struck me most about those 1830s fashion plates wasn't how plain the gentlemen's attire had become, but how similar the basic silhouette was to the ladies' whacky gowns. They both have the same wide, sloping shoulders, broad chests/breasts, and tiny waists. I know I've read that Prinny and other gentlemen of the time who struggled with avoirdupois-management resorted to corseting, but these guys would give Scarlett O'Hara a run for the smallest-waist prize. Then suddenly their coats billow outward like the ladies' bell-shaped skirts, and worse, those white trousers give them...hips. I mean, who doesn't know that white pants make one's butt look big?
This 1830s cartoon (aptly callled Waist and Extravagance) exaggerates to make its point, but it's not that far from the fashion-plates. Hmmm –– maybe Jessica should have been making fun of Dain's wardrobe, too?
1610 "Newes from Virginia" by Richard Rich
2 years ago