Saturday, September 17, 2011
Undressed: To be “undressed” was to be dressed for work and ordinary occupations, to wear a coat which he did not fear to ruin and a neck-tie which his ink-stand will not object to, even though his acquaintance might.
To be “dressed” on the other hand, was to be clothed in the garments which society pronounced as suitable to particular occasions. But there were shades of being “dressed.” A man was called “little dressed,” “well dressed,” and “much dressed,” not according to the quantity but the quality of his coverings.
To be “little dressed” was to wear old things, of a make that was no longer the fashion, having no pretension to elegance, artistic beauty, or ornament. It was also to wear lounging clothes on occasions which demanded some amount of care.
To be “much dressed” was to be in the extreme of the fashion, with the latest clothes, jewelry, and ornaments, with a touch of extravagance in colors. Thus to wear patent leather boots and yellow gloves in a quiet morning stroll was to be “much dressed,” and certainly did not differ immensely from being badly dressed.
Posted by Frontier Women's Living History Assn. at 8:40 PM