Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/58

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other backward, could not be buttoned actually to the edge of the coat, but had to be fastened a little inland as it were; and thus part of the coat was visible at the bottom of the tail: the light-colored border, although sewn to the coat, evidently now represents the lining, which was shown by the corners being turned back.

It was not until the reign of George III. that coats were cut back at the waist, as are our present evening-coats; but since, before that fashion was introduced, the coats had become swallow-tailed in the manner explained, it seems likely that this form of coat was suggested by the previous fashion. And, indeed, stages of development of a somewhat intermediate character may be observed in old engravings. In the uniforms of the last century the coats were double-breasted, but were generally worn open, with the flaps thrown back and buttoned to rows of buttons on the coat. These flaps, of course, showed the lining of the coat, and were of the same color as the tails; the button-holes were usually embroidered, and thus the whole of the front of the coat became richly laced. Toward the end of the century the coats were made tight, and were fastened together in front by hooks, but the vestiges of the flaps remained in a double line of buttons, and in the front of the coat being of a different color from that of the rest, and being richly laced. A uniform of this nature is still retained in some foreign armies. This seems also to explain the use of the term "facings" as applied to the collar and cuffs of a uniform, since, as we shall see hereafter, they would be of the same color as these flaps. It may also explain the habit of braiding the front of a coat, as is done in our hussar and other regiments.

In a "History of Male Fashions," published in the London Chronicle in 1762, we find that "surtouts have now four laps on each side, which are called 'dog's ears;' when these pieces are unbuttoned, they flap backward and forward, like so many supernumerary patches just tacked on at one end, and the wearer seems to have been playing at backswords till his coat was cut to pieces. . . . Very spruce smarts have no buttons nor holes upon the breast of these their surtouts, save what are upon the ears, and their garments only wrap over their bodies like a morning-gown." These dog's ears may now be seen in a very meaningless state on the breasts of the patrol-jackets of our officers, and this is confirmed by the fact that their jackets are not buttoned, but fastened by hooks.

In early times, when coats were of silk or velvet, and enormously expensive, it was no doubt customary to turn up the cuffs, so as not to soil the coat, and thus the custom of having the cuffs turned back came in. During the latter part of the seventeenth and during the eighteenth century, the cuffs were very widely turned back, and the sleeves consequently very short, and this led to dandies wearing large lace cuffs to their shirts.

The pictures of Hogarth and of others show that the coat-cuffs