Arbiter Elegantiarum blows November’s chills away with a blast against the overuse of fur in winter fashion. Muffs come in for particular scorn: “these monstrous muffs, or rather muffles (for they completely handcuffed the poor women).” At least, though, muffs have been abandoned, suggests Arbiter; alas, the ungainly fur tippet is still to be found, that once “graceful ornament of a winter dress” which has, unfortunately, “swelled itself out into a large plaister of fur, which covered the back and shoulders, and completely destroyed the beauty of the figure.” What woman would want to wear a garment that Arbiter compares to “the collar of martyrdom, which was formerly fixed upon the neck of the unfortunate victims of the infernal Inquisition”? Not me!
Fall colors grace this month’s fabric samples: fawn, rusty brown, and yellow gold. Sample #4, a “Persian kerseymere, worked in tambour,” is “much in vogue with our male fashionables.” The photograph here is not very clear; I’d love to see a better close up of the tambour (embroidery) work, wouldn’t you?