Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Against Umbrellas

“And let it be observed, that in reasoning about hats, all thoughts about that effeminate invention, the umbrella, are to be laid aside. This utensil is truly a disgrace to the manhood of the times. . . . Our stalwart ancestors did admirably well without umbrellas; they wore good cloaks or coats, and broad beavers to keep the rain out of their necks, faring not a jot the worse for it. Umbrellas are only fit for men-milliners, Cockney travellers, and women.”
.....
Anonymous, “The Aesthetics of Dress: A Case of Hats”, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 57:351, January 1845, p.56, online at the Internet Library of Early Journals. (Also therein a fine complaint about “the chattering and capering monkeyism of the Parisian exquisite”, p.51.)

4 comments:

dearieme said...

Fine thing, the gamp, particularly in sticky summer weather when waterproof clothing is odious. Better to go naked. Well, up to a certain age, anyway. And as for hats, have you noticed that everyone who drives wearing a hat seems to be a moron? Mind you, you probably have to be a moron to fear rain inside a car.

Deogolwulf said...

On the subject of morons, what is it with that "john b" chap, with whom you tangled the other day? It is such a shame that his omniscience and omnipresence are not accompanied by omnipotence, for then he'd have the power to persuade all the people all of the time that he knows everything better than they.

Dennis Dale said...

Dearime:
Baseball caps should be distinguished from other headwear; I suspect if you do this you might amend your opinion of hatted drivers. One of you circumspect Brits will have to clarify if the auto counts as indoors and thus if etiquette applies. As if it still does anywhere. But seeing as autos were originally open to the elements, I'm willing to bet that it doesn't. There is after all that classic touring hat, the name of which escapes me, that used to be associated with motoring, back when motoring wasn't tawdry and practical.

Regarding the "effeminate" nature of the bumbershoot (how's that for a colloquialism?): US Marines are instructed that in no circumstances, in or out of uniform, are they to carry an umbrella.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

The correlation between men wearing hats and bad driving is legendary.