Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/59

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47
DEVELOPMENT IN DRESS.

were buttoned back to a row of buttons running round the wrist. These buttons still exist in the sleeves of a Queen's Counsel, although the cuffs are sewed back and the button-holes only exist in the form of pieces of braid. This habit explains why our soldiers now have their cuffs of different colors from that of their coats; the color of the linings was probably determined for each regiment by the colonel for the time being, since he formerly supplied the clothing; and we know that the color of the facings was by no means fixed until recently. The shape of the cuff has been recently altered in the line regiments, so that all the original meaning is gone.

In order to allow of turning back with ease, the sleeve was generally split on the outer side, and this split could be fastened together with a line of buttons and embroidered holes. In Hogarth's pictures some two or three of these buttons may be commonly seen above the reversed cuff; and notwithstanding that at first the buttons were out of sight (as they ought to be) in the reversed part of the cuff, yet after the turning back had become quite a fixed habit, and when sleeves were made tight again, it seems to have been usual to have the button for the cuff sewed on to the proper inside, that is to say, the real outside of the sleeve.

The early stage may be seen in Hogarth's picture of the "Guards marching to Finchley," and the present rudiment is excellently illustrated in the cuffs of the same regiments now. The curious buttons and gold lace on the cuffs and collars of the tunics of the Life-Guards have the like explanation, but this is hardly intelligible without reference to a book of uniforms, as for example Cannon's "History of the Second Dragoon Guards."

The collar of a coat would in ordinary weather be turned down and the lining shown; hence the collar has commonly a different color from that of the coat, and in uniforms the same color as have the cuffs, which form, with the collars, the so-called "facings." A picture of Lucien Bonaparte in Lacroix's work on Costume shows a collar so immense that were it turned up it would be as high as the top of his head. This drawing indicates that even the very broad stand-up collars worn in uniforms in the early part of this century, and of a different color from that of the coat, were merely survivals of an older form of turn-down collar. In these days, notwithstanding that the same difference in color indicates that the collar was originally turned down, yet in all uniforms it is made to stand up.

The pieces of braid or seams which run round the wrist in ordinary coats are clearly the last remains of the inversion of the cuffs.

Trousers.—I will merely observe that we find an intermediate stage between trousers and breeches in the pantaloon, in which the knee-buttons of the breeches have walked down to the ankle. I have seen also a German servant who wore a row of buttons running from the knee to the ankle of his trousers.