The Shirt Off His Back

Royalharlotfront_coverBy Susan/Miranda

There are few garments in Romance-Land more closely associated with historical heroes than shirts.  Full-sleeved, snowy shirts, unfastened down to there and billowing freely in the wind like the hero’s tousled hair, the shirt remains a constant on the cover of almost every historical romance, as frequently torn asunder as any heroine’s hapless bodice.  These shirts carry so much cultural baggage that they even inspired an entire episode of Seinfeld, when (of course) to please a woman, Jerry agrees to wear the humiliating “puffy shirt” on the Today show.   

Yet just as the self-destructing gowns worn by romance cover-girls bear little resemblance to what the women inside our books are wearing, all those tacky polyester dress shirts don’t have much to do with a real 19th century gentleman’s wardrobe, either.

Our guys deserve better.  And so, cheerfully, I’ll digress today from the usual Wenchly topics, and offerPuffyshirt instead a settling of the sartorial record. 

For European men from the middle ages well into the late nineteenth century, the shirt wasn’t only an indispensable piece of clothing; it was a remarkably democratic one, too.  The shirts worn by Henry VIII would have been cut exactly the same as the ones worn by his grooms, as well as by Thomas Jefferson, Beau Brummel, and Huckleberry Finn, too.  These shirts were constructed from a series of rectangles, without a single curved seam.  They pulled over the head with an opening slit to about mid-chest, and fastened with buttons at the throat.  The book cover full-chest-bearing simply wasn’t possible.  The sleeves were luxuriously full, about 24” wide or more, and pleated into the dropped shoulders and wrist cuffs.  Additional gussets were placed under the arms for ease.  The collar was another rectangle, soft and without interlining, whose final shape was determined by the neckcloth or kerchief tied around it.

These shirts were wide and long, reaching to the middle of the thighs.  Suggested measurements from the 18th century calls for an ordinary sized shirt to be 60” around and 40” long!  For most men, the shirt was an all-purpose garment, serving as a nightshirt and underwear as well (underdrawers still be rare and vaguely suspect.)  The oversized nature of a shirt was also a protective barrier between the body and the more expensive (and harder to wash) coats, waistcoats, and breeches that went over it. 

CwshirtA gentleman’s shirt was generally made of linen, Holland linen being the most prized. Farther down the social scale, shirts would also be linen of a coarser grade, such as tow.  (Cotton remained a luxury fabric until the middle of the 19th century, and not much used for shirts until then.)  But forget that stiff, scratchy modern linen you have to take to the dry cleaner.  Old-fashioned washed linen is a marvelously sensuous fiber. It’s long-wearing, easy to wash, and gets softer with wear.  It holds the warmth of the skin gently, without getting sticky or clammy, yet it’s also remarkably cool in the summer.  It’s the perfect stuff for our heroes to wear. If I could figure out a way to link to a touchable swatch, I would.*g*

And despite what the occasional hapless, carelessly-researched hero might be forced to wear, no self-respecting Englishman before 1900, rich or poor or in-between, ever wore a slippery woven silk shirt.  Ever.

Social distinctions did show in a shirt’s details.  The fine twist of the linen, the purity of the whiteness, the daintiness of the stitching and seaming, self-ruffles for the most fashionable, with a discreet monogram embroidered at the hem –– all were the marks of an expensive shirt.  How that shirt was washed and pressed denoted a gentleman’s rank as well: the dozens of tiny vertical pleats pressed into the wide sleeves to compress them enough to fit into a narrow coat sleeve required the most accomplished laundresses using specialized irons.  Among the middling sort, where clothes were stillCwjauntyman_2 made at home, women lavished much care and skill on their husband’s shirts, with needle-lace trim at the throat or whitework embroidery on the cuffs.  A girl wasn’t declared marriageable until she’d demonstrated the sewing skill to stitch a man’s shirt, which her groom would wear on their wedding day. 

But back to our cover-model.  Not only should his chest be covered by his shirt, but that shirt in turn should be covered as well, by a coat or jacket and waistcoat.  Two hundred years ago, a gentleman would no more consider walking about in company in his shirt-sleeves than a modern-day executive would appear on Wall Street in only his swim-trunks.  It simply wouldn’t have been done.  There was an excellent chance that the gentleman’s lady would have had to wait until they were wed to see his bare arms, let alone the other more private parts of him.  If the gentleman is a Wenchly hero, at least we know the Fabioroguewait will be worth it.

So what’s your pleasure?  We all like a handsome rogue on the cover.  But do you prefer him with his anachronistic shirt barely hanging from his manly bare shoulders, or would you prefer him to be properly dressed?  Do the bare-chested hero-covers make you sigh with admiration, or do they make you slip-cover your reading before you ride mass transit?

116 thoughts on “The Shirt Off His Back”

  1. Well… I’m boring. I’d prefer dressed. But that’s partly because the dress of a period fascinates me (we can hope they get it right), and most of these half-clad models lack manly chest hair and therefore don’t match my much more virile imagined hero.
    And don’t get me started on clinch covers and reading in public! Aside from having the half-naked male on the cover, we so often have the half-naked woman… And you know – I’d prefer any men around to be noticing me rather than the (un)cover(ed) model…. (-;

    Reply
  2. Well… I’m boring. I’d prefer dressed. But that’s partly because the dress of a period fascinates me (we can hope they get it right), and most of these half-clad models lack manly chest hair and therefore don’t match my much more virile imagined hero.
    And don’t get me started on clinch covers and reading in public! Aside from having the half-naked male on the cover, we so often have the half-naked woman… And you know – I’d prefer any men around to be noticing me rather than the (un)cover(ed) model…. (-;

    Reply
  3. Well… I’m boring. I’d prefer dressed. But that’s partly because the dress of a period fascinates me (we can hope they get it right), and most of these half-clad models lack manly chest hair and therefore don’t match my much more virile imagined hero.
    And don’t get me started on clinch covers and reading in public! Aside from having the half-naked male on the cover, we so often have the half-naked woman… And you know – I’d prefer any men around to be noticing me rather than the (un)cover(ed) model…. (-;

    Reply
  4. Well… I’m boring. I’d prefer dressed. But that’s partly because the dress of a period fascinates me (we can hope they get it right), and most of these half-clad models lack manly chest hair and therefore don’t match my much more virile imagined hero.
    And don’t get me started on clinch covers and reading in public! Aside from having the half-naked male on the cover, we so often have the half-naked woman… And you know – I’d prefer any men around to be noticing me rather than the (un)cover(ed) model…. (-;

    Reply
  5. Slipcovers, please, Susan. Those open shirts with the man stands on a hillside in the snow just make me roll my eyes.
    Thank you for an excellent summary of the shirt as it should’ve been, no matter how hard Fabio tried to alter the course of history.

    Reply
  6. Slipcovers, please, Susan. Those open shirts with the man stands on a hillside in the snow just make me roll my eyes.
    Thank you for an excellent summary of the shirt as it should’ve been, no matter how hard Fabio tried to alter the course of history.

    Reply
  7. Slipcovers, please, Susan. Those open shirts with the man stands on a hillside in the snow just make me roll my eyes.
    Thank you for an excellent summary of the shirt as it should’ve been, no matter how hard Fabio tried to alter the course of history.

    Reply
  8. Slipcovers, please, Susan. Those open shirts with the man stands on a hillside in the snow just make me roll my eyes.
    Thank you for an excellent summary of the shirt as it should’ve been, no matter how hard Fabio tried to alter the course of history.

    Reply
  9. “A gentleman’s shirt was generally made of linen, Holland linen being the most prized.”
    Bingo! Holland linen! That is exactly the information I needed for a scene I’m working on. The hero is reading off a list of his clothing expenses and the heroine is entering the info in his ledger.
    And because the secret of silk production was well known and practiced in Europe by the Regency era, it never occurred to me that there were no silk shirts in England during that time. Or cotton, for that matter. Huh.

    Reply
  10. “A gentleman’s shirt was generally made of linen, Holland linen being the most prized.”
    Bingo! Holland linen! That is exactly the information I needed for a scene I’m working on. The hero is reading off a list of his clothing expenses and the heroine is entering the info in his ledger.
    And because the secret of silk production was well known and practiced in Europe by the Regency era, it never occurred to me that there were no silk shirts in England during that time. Or cotton, for that matter. Huh.

    Reply
  11. “A gentleman’s shirt was generally made of linen, Holland linen being the most prized.”
    Bingo! Holland linen! That is exactly the information I needed for a scene I’m working on. The hero is reading off a list of his clothing expenses and the heroine is entering the info in his ledger.
    And because the secret of silk production was well known and practiced in Europe by the Regency era, it never occurred to me that there were no silk shirts in England during that time. Or cotton, for that matter. Huh.

    Reply
  12. “A gentleman’s shirt was generally made of linen, Holland linen being the most prized.”
    Bingo! Holland linen! That is exactly the information I needed for a scene I’m working on. The hero is reading off a list of his clothing expenses and the heroine is entering the info in his ledger.
    And because the secret of silk production was well known and practiced in Europe by the Regency era, it never occurred to me that there were no silk shirts in England during that time. Or cotton, for that matter. Huh.

    Reply
  13. I would love to see heros in full period dress — for me, that’s part of the appeal of a historical. My absolute ideal couple cover would have the hero and heroine in period dress, and if I’ve been really really good, in a pose that would have been used in portraiture of the era.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one looking at all those silky open shirts (would those be ripped man-bodices? Because that’s the only way the shirt would be open that far, wouldn’t it?)and long smooth legs under a single filmy skirt and wondering where all the underwear went.
    Don’t get me started on the cloak with no shirt deal. Is that the historical equivalent of trench coat only?

    Reply
  14. I would love to see heros in full period dress — for me, that’s part of the appeal of a historical. My absolute ideal couple cover would have the hero and heroine in period dress, and if I’ve been really really good, in a pose that would have been used in portraiture of the era.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one looking at all those silky open shirts (would those be ripped man-bodices? Because that’s the only way the shirt would be open that far, wouldn’t it?)and long smooth legs under a single filmy skirt and wondering where all the underwear went.
    Don’t get me started on the cloak with no shirt deal. Is that the historical equivalent of trench coat only?

    Reply
  15. I would love to see heros in full period dress — for me, that’s part of the appeal of a historical. My absolute ideal couple cover would have the hero and heroine in period dress, and if I’ve been really really good, in a pose that would have been used in portraiture of the era.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one looking at all those silky open shirts (would those be ripped man-bodices? Because that’s the only way the shirt would be open that far, wouldn’t it?)and long smooth legs under a single filmy skirt and wondering where all the underwear went.
    Don’t get me started on the cloak with no shirt deal. Is that the historical equivalent of trench coat only?

    Reply
  16. I would love to see heros in full period dress — for me, that’s part of the appeal of a historical. My absolute ideal couple cover would have the hero and heroine in period dress, and if I’ve been really really good, in a pose that would have been used in portraiture of the era.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one looking at all those silky open shirts (would those be ripped man-bodices? Because that’s the only way the shirt would be open that far, wouldn’t it?)and long smooth legs under a single filmy skirt and wondering where all the underwear went.
    Don’t get me started on the cloak with no shirt deal. Is that the historical equivalent of trench coat only?

    Reply
  17. I’m much more forgiving of bare-chested men in contemporaries than historicals, simply because it is far more likely to see a man’s chest today than it would have been in the Regency (or Georgian, or American Colonial, or whatever) period. I find it offputting when the art department (I’d never blame the Wenches) treats historical books and their readers so offhandedly. If clothed, I can sigh along with the heroine when she does — finally — get a glimpse of his manly pectorals.

    Reply
  18. I’m much more forgiving of bare-chested men in contemporaries than historicals, simply because it is far more likely to see a man’s chest today than it would have been in the Regency (or Georgian, or American Colonial, or whatever) period. I find it offputting when the art department (I’d never blame the Wenches) treats historical books and their readers so offhandedly. If clothed, I can sigh along with the heroine when she does — finally — get a glimpse of his manly pectorals.

    Reply
  19. I’m much more forgiving of bare-chested men in contemporaries than historicals, simply because it is far more likely to see a man’s chest today than it would have been in the Regency (or Georgian, or American Colonial, or whatever) period. I find it offputting when the art department (I’d never blame the Wenches) treats historical books and their readers so offhandedly. If clothed, I can sigh along with the heroine when she does — finally — get a glimpse of his manly pectorals.

    Reply
  20. I’m much more forgiving of bare-chested men in contemporaries than historicals, simply because it is far more likely to see a man’s chest today than it would have been in the Regency (or Georgian, or American Colonial, or whatever) period. I find it offputting when the art department (I’d never blame the Wenches) treats historical books and their readers so offhandedly. If clothed, I can sigh along with the heroine when she does — finally — get a glimpse of his manly pectorals.

    Reply
  21. I think I’m going to be in the minority here, because I don’t see any reason to insist in historical accuracy on a book’s cover when the story within is hardly going to fall into the category of social realism.
    I read historical romances for the fun of it, not because I’m expecting a glimpse into the lives and attitudes of the period… and lotsa luck to anybody who is! An improbable shirt is no greater sin against realism than a virgin who has a massive multiple orgasm the first time she makes love with the caring and sensitive 18th C. hero (who even seems to know how to locate a clitoris, something I can testify that a number of modern men haven’t figured out yet). I’m not complaining (about the fiction!); it’s what we’d all like to believe and (perhaps) to have had. If the chest on the cover is attractive enough I’m probably not even going to notice the shirt.
    Which is not to say I don’t care about the truth of the matter… Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow, perhaps as the heroine tugs and tugs and tugs on it without being able to entirely get it loose from the pants. How did such a bulky shirttail work with the supposedly skin-tight leg coverings of the era, anyway? Talk about a panty line–how about a shirt bunch? All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response to the revealing attire of the women?
    So much to ponder!

    Reply
  22. I think I’m going to be in the minority here, because I don’t see any reason to insist in historical accuracy on a book’s cover when the story within is hardly going to fall into the category of social realism.
    I read historical romances for the fun of it, not because I’m expecting a glimpse into the lives and attitudes of the period… and lotsa luck to anybody who is! An improbable shirt is no greater sin against realism than a virgin who has a massive multiple orgasm the first time she makes love with the caring and sensitive 18th C. hero (who even seems to know how to locate a clitoris, something I can testify that a number of modern men haven’t figured out yet). I’m not complaining (about the fiction!); it’s what we’d all like to believe and (perhaps) to have had. If the chest on the cover is attractive enough I’m probably not even going to notice the shirt.
    Which is not to say I don’t care about the truth of the matter… Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow, perhaps as the heroine tugs and tugs and tugs on it without being able to entirely get it loose from the pants. How did such a bulky shirttail work with the supposedly skin-tight leg coverings of the era, anyway? Talk about a panty line–how about a shirt bunch? All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response to the revealing attire of the women?
    So much to ponder!

    Reply
  23. I think I’m going to be in the minority here, because I don’t see any reason to insist in historical accuracy on a book’s cover when the story within is hardly going to fall into the category of social realism.
    I read historical romances for the fun of it, not because I’m expecting a glimpse into the lives and attitudes of the period… and lotsa luck to anybody who is! An improbable shirt is no greater sin against realism than a virgin who has a massive multiple orgasm the first time she makes love with the caring and sensitive 18th C. hero (who even seems to know how to locate a clitoris, something I can testify that a number of modern men haven’t figured out yet). I’m not complaining (about the fiction!); it’s what we’d all like to believe and (perhaps) to have had. If the chest on the cover is attractive enough I’m probably not even going to notice the shirt.
    Which is not to say I don’t care about the truth of the matter… Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow, perhaps as the heroine tugs and tugs and tugs on it without being able to entirely get it loose from the pants. How did such a bulky shirttail work with the supposedly skin-tight leg coverings of the era, anyway? Talk about a panty line–how about a shirt bunch? All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response to the revealing attire of the women?
    So much to ponder!

    Reply
  24. I think I’m going to be in the minority here, because I don’t see any reason to insist in historical accuracy on a book’s cover when the story within is hardly going to fall into the category of social realism.
    I read historical romances for the fun of it, not because I’m expecting a glimpse into the lives and attitudes of the period… and lotsa luck to anybody who is! An improbable shirt is no greater sin against realism than a virgin who has a massive multiple orgasm the first time she makes love with the caring and sensitive 18th C. hero (who even seems to know how to locate a clitoris, something I can testify that a number of modern men haven’t figured out yet). I’m not complaining (about the fiction!); it’s what we’d all like to believe and (perhaps) to have had. If the chest on the cover is attractive enough I’m probably not even going to notice the shirt.
    Which is not to say I don’t care about the truth of the matter… Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow, perhaps as the heroine tugs and tugs and tugs on it without being able to entirely get it loose from the pants. How did such a bulky shirttail work with the supposedly skin-tight leg coverings of the era, anyway? Talk about a panty line–how about a shirt bunch? All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response to the revealing attire of the women?
    So much to ponder!

    Reply
  25. Another vote for fully-dressed in period-appropriate attire. I want to be able to take my books wherever I go–the lunchroom at work, on a bus, on a plane, etc. Plus, on the right man, the Regency look is just so SEXY. For example:
    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Cinema/1280/pp.html
    http://www.sharpetorium.info/bestuni.html
    http://gallery.scaryfangirl.com/view_photo.php?set_albumName=album23&id=g02_07
    I could look at any of those images all day–including the first one, and I’m not even into Colin Firth! Those are just gorgeous clothes making sexy men look even sexier.

    Reply
  26. Another vote for fully-dressed in period-appropriate attire. I want to be able to take my books wherever I go–the lunchroom at work, on a bus, on a plane, etc. Plus, on the right man, the Regency look is just so SEXY. For example:
    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Cinema/1280/pp.html
    http://www.sharpetorium.info/bestuni.html
    http://gallery.scaryfangirl.com/view_photo.php?set_albumName=album23&id=g02_07
    I could look at any of those images all day–including the first one, and I’m not even into Colin Firth! Those are just gorgeous clothes making sexy men look even sexier.

    Reply
  27. Another vote for fully-dressed in period-appropriate attire. I want to be able to take my books wherever I go–the lunchroom at work, on a bus, on a plane, etc. Plus, on the right man, the Regency look is just so SEXY. For example:
    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Cinema/1280/pp.html
    http://www.sharpetorium.info/bestuni.html
    http://gallery.scaryfangirl.com/view_photo.php?set_albumName=album23&id=g02_07
    I could look at any of those images all day–including the first one, and I’m not even into Colin Firth! Those are just gorgeous clothes making sexy men look even sexier.

    Reply
  28. Another vote for fully-dressed in period-appropriate attire. I want to be able to take my books wherever I go–the lunchroom at work, on a bus, on a plane, etc. Plus, on the right man, the Regency look is just so SEXY. For example:
    http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Cinema/1280/pp.html
    http://www.sharpetorium.info/bestuni.html
    http://gallery.scaryfangirl.com/view_photo.php?set_albumName=album23&id=g02_07
    I could look at any of those images all day–including the first one, and I’m not even into Colin Firth! Those are just gorgeous clothes making sexy men look even sexier.

    Reply
  29. There is nothing sexier to me than the fully dressed Regency gentleman. I prefer the more casual country look, with the buckskins and topboots, however.
    The half-naked stuff is just so … smooth. Bleh! Gimme texture and elegant clothing, and the bearing to carry it off!

    Reply
  30. There is nothing sexier to me than the fully dressed Regency gentleman. I prefer the more casual country look, with the buckskins and topboots, however.
    The half-naked stuff is just so … smooth. Bleh! Gimme texture and elegant clothing, and the bearing to carry it off!

    Reply
  31. There is nothing sexier to me than the fully dressed Regency gentleman. I prefer the more casual country look, with the buckskins and topboots, however.
    The half-naked stuff is just so … smooth. Bleh! Gimme texture and elegant clothing, and the bearing to carry it off!

    Reply
  32. There is nothing sexier to me than the fully dressed Regency gentleman. I prefer the more casual country look, with the buckskins and topboots, however.
    The half-naked stuff is just so … smooth. Bleh! Gimme texture and elegant clothing, and the bearing to carry it off!

    Reply
  33. I admit to having low standards when it comes to book covers, because if I only purchased books by what “should” be on the cover, I wouldn’t do much reading. I don’t mind the bare chest, but I do mind the bare chest in the snow, as Keira mentioned. I much prefer a detail of a 19th century painting, however.
    You have made the whole shirt subject fascinating. I cannot iron at all—the thoughts of tiny pleats is terrifying. And my sewing skills are even worse…no doubt I would have been a spinster who could not spin if I had to prove my worth by sewing a shirt!

    Reply
  34. I admit to having low standards when it comes to book covers, because if I only purchased books by what “should” be on the cover, I wouldn’t do much reading. I don’t mind the bare chest, but I do mind the bare chest in the snow, as Keira mentioned. I much prefer a detail of a 19th century painting, however.
    You have made the whole shirt subject fascinating. I cannot iron at all—the thoughts of tiny pleats is terrifying. And my sewing skills are even worse…no doubt I would have been a spinster who could not spin if I had to prove my worth by sewing a shirt!

    Reply
  35. I admit to having low standards when it comes to book covers, because if I only purchased books by what “should” be on the cover, I wouldn’t do much reading. I don’t mind the bare chest, but I do mind the bare chest in the snow, as Keira mentioned. I much prefer a detail of a 19th century painting, however.
    You have made the whole shirt subject fascinating. I cannot iron at all—the thoughts of tiny pleats is terrifying. And my sewing skills are even worse…no doubt I would have been a spinster who could not spin if I had to prove my worth by sewing a shirt!

    Reply
  36. I admit to having low standards when it comes to book covers, because if I only purchased books by what “should” be on the cover, I wouldn’t do much reading. I don’t mind the bare chest, but I do mind the bare chest in the snow, as Keira mentioned. I much prefer a detail of a 19th century painting, however.
    You have made the whole shirt subject fascinating. I cannot iron at all—the thoughts of tiny pleats is terrifying. And my sewing skills are even worse…no doubt I would have been a spinster who could not spin if I had to prove my worth by sewing a shirt!

    Reply
  37. Elaine wrote:”Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow.”
    This is the main reason I love having “accurate” clothing in historical books — not because I’m totally compulsive about accuracy (well, all right, that too) but because clothing in any period dictates how people behave. There’s so much emphasis on undressing the women of the past, and not nearly enough about the men. Having to undo all those buttons down the coat, the waistcoat, then on the fall of the breeches, and probably the ones at the knee too — talk about building suspense! *g*
    Susan, thanks for the links. Much better than Jerry and Kramer. I also remember how incredibly attractive Albert Finney looked in “Tom Jones”, with those huge shirts always coming untucked from the low-slung 18th century breeches. And Johnny Depp as full Restoration rig in “The Libertine”, from his long curled wig to his high-heeled shoes and sword….
    Clothes don’t entirely make the man, but well-cut ones of any era certainly help!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  38. Elaine wrote:”Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow.”
    This is the main reason I love having “accurate” clothing in historical books — not because I’m totally compulsive about accuracy (well, all right, that too) but because clothing in any period dictates how people behave. There’s so much emphasis on undressing the women of the past, and not nearly enough about the men. Having to undo all those buttons down the coat, the waistcoat, then on the fall of the breeches, and probably the ones at the knee too — talk about building suspense! *g*
    Susan, thanks for the links. Much better than Jerry and Kramer. I also remember how incredibly attractive Albert Finney looked in “Tom Jones”, with those huge shirts always coming untucked from the low-slung 18th century breeches. And Johnny Depp as full Restoration rig in “The Libertine”, from his long curled wig to his high-heeled shoes and sword….
    Clothes don’t entirely make the man, but well-cut ones of any era certainly help!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  39. Elaine wrote:”Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow.”
    This is the main reason I love having “accurate” clothing in historical books — not because I’m totally compulsive about accuracy (well, all right, that too) but because clothing in any period dictates how people behave. There’s so much emphasis on undressing the women of the past, and not nearly enough about the men. Having to undo all those buttons down the coat, the waistcoat, then on the fall of the breeches, and probably the ones at the knee too — talk about building suspense! *g*
    Susan, thanks for the links. Much better than Jerry and Kramer. I also remember how incredibly attractive Albert Finney looked in “Tom Jones”, with those huge shirts always coming untucked from the low-slung 18th century breeches. And Johnny Depp as full Restoration rig in “The Libertine”, from his long curled wig to his high-heeled shoes and sword….
    Clothes don’t entirely make the man, but well-cut ones of any era certainly help!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  40. Elaine wrote:”Such details are fascinating. I can imagine finding a way to use that oversized shirt in a scene, to increase the tension somehow.”
    This is the main reason I love having “accurate” clothing in historical books — not because I’m totally compulsive about accuracy (well, all right, that too) but because clothing in any period dictates how people behave. There’s so much emphasis on undressing the women of the past, and not nearly enough about the men. Having to undo all those buttons down the coat, the waistcoat, then on the fall of the breeches, and probably the ones at the knee too — talk about building suspense! *g*
    Susan, thanks for the links. Much better than Jerry and Kramer. I also remember how incredibly attractive Albert Finney looked in “Tom Jones”, with those huge shirts always coming untucked from the low-slung 18th century breeches. And Johnny Depp as full Restoration rig in “The Libertine”, from his long curled wig to his high-heeled shoes and sword….
    Clothes don’t entirely make the man, but well-cut ones of any era certainly help!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  41. Since I know now that the Wenches don’t have control over their covers, I’ll vote for the “dressed heroes” (and dressed heroines, while we’re at it.) A sharp-dressed man is always a turn-on!

    Reply
  42. Since I know now that the Wenches don’t have control over their covers, I’ll vote for the “dressed heroes” (and dressed heroines, while we’re at it.) A sharp-dressed man is always a turn-on!

    Reply
  43. Since I know now that the Wenches don’t have control over their covers, I’ll vote for the “dressed heroes” (and dressed heroines, while we’re at it.) A sharp-dressed man is always a turn-on!

    Reply
  44. Since I know now that the Wenches don’t have control over their covers, I’ll vote for the “dressed heroes” (and dressed heroines, while we’re at it.) A sharp-dressed man is always a turn-on!

    Reply
  45. Obviously I’ve been picking up well-dressed-historical-man vibes without realizing it. I just heard that for you lucky folks who get BBC-America, there’s a new dramatic series starting Sunday night on Beau Brummel, that ultimate spiffy-garbed fellow. Alas, I don’t have that channel — but I hope that anyone who does will report back!
    http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/227/index.jsp
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  46. Obviously I’ve been picking up well-dressed-historical-man vibes without realizing it. I just heard that for you lucky folks who get BBC-America, there’s a new dramatic series starting Sunday night on Beau Brummel, that ultimate spiffy-garbed fellow. Alas, I don’t have that channel — but I hope that anyone who does will report back!
    http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/227/index.jsp
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  47. Obviously I’ve been picking up well-dressed-historical-man vibes without realizing it. I just heard that for you lucky folks who get BBC-America, there’s a new dramatic series starting Sunday night on Beau Brummel, that ultimate spiffy-garbed fellow. Alas, I don’t have that channel — but I hope that anyone who does will report back!
    http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/227/index.jsp
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  48. Obviously I’ve been picking up well-dressed-historical-man vibes without realizing it. I just heard that for you lucky folks who get BBC-America, there’s a new dramatic series starting Sunday night on Beau Brummel, that ultimate spiffy-garbed fellow. Alas, I don’t have that channel — but I hope that anyone who does will report back!
    http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/227/index.jsp
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  49. Ok, I just have to chime in with this one.
    Elaine said…”All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response…”
    This is what I heard men did with “all that surplus.” They had their valets draw it round front and folded it just right so that it appeared they owned more than they did. How true is it? Don’t know. I learned it from REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. But it does seem plausible. After all, was not the purpose of the divorce corset the same?

    Reply
  50. Ok, I just have to chime in with this one.
    Elaine said…”All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response…”
    This is what I heard men did with “all that surplus.” They had their valets draw it round front and folded it just right so that it appeared they owned more than they did. How true is it? Don’t know. I learned it from REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. But it does seem plausible. After all, was not the purpose of the divorce corset the same?

    Reply
  51. Ok, I just have to chime in with this one.
    Elaine said…”All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response…”
    This is what I heard men did with “all that surplus.” They had their valets draw it round front and folded it just right so that it appeared they owned more than they did. How true is it? Don’t know. I learned it from REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. But it does seem plausible. After all, was not the purpose of the divorce corset the same?

    Reply
  52. Ok, I just have to chime in with this one.
    Elaine said…”All that surplus material had to go somewhere. Perhaps it came in useful in concealing a healthy man’s inevitable physical response…”
    This is what I heard men did with “all that surplus.” They had their valets draw it round front and folded it just right so that it appeared they owned more than they did. How true is it? Don’t know. I learned it from REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. But it does seem plausible. After all, was not the purpose of the divorce corset the same?

    Reply
  53. Divorce corset? What is this divorce corset of which you speak, Nina?
    And speaking of rapid undressing and improbability… what about all those buttons flying off and bouncing around the room? Clearly, the writers of such scenes have never attempted to wrest a well-sewn button off a shirt. Maybe the governor of California could do it (but would you want him to?); I’m sure I personally would wrest in vain.

    Reply
  54. Divorce corset? What is this divorce corset of which you speak, Nina?
    And speaking of rapid undressing and improbability… what about all those buttons flying off and bouncing around the room? Clearly, the writers of such scenes have never attempted to wrest a well-sewn button off a shirt. Maybe the governor of California could do it (but would you want him to?); I’m sure I personally would wrest in vain.

    Reply
  55. Divorce corset? What is this divorce corset of which you speak, Nina?
    And speaking of rapid undressing and improbability… what about all those buttons flying off and bouncing around the room? Clearly, the writers of such scenes have never attempted to wrest a well-sewn button off a shirt. Maybe the governor of California could do it (but would you want him to?); I’m sure I personally would wrest in vain.

    Reply
  56. Divorce corset? What is this divorce corset of which you speak, Nina?
    And speaking of rapid undressing and improbability… what about all those buttons flying off and bouncing around the room? Clearly, the writers of such scenes have never attempted to wrest a well-sewn button off a shirt. Maybe the governor of California could do it (but would you want him to?); I’m sure I personally would wrest in vain.

    Reply
  57. Nina — I don’t remember that from “Regency House Party”, but it does make weird sense. Since there’s no underwear, the men were supposed to tuck the shirttails between their legs, so why not maximize what you’ve got in the process? *g*
    Still, that whole idea reminds me of an infant’s “onesie” — and also explains why gentlemen may not have bathed every day, but they did change their shirts.
    Elaine — I completely agree about the flying buttons! Hairpins, yes, but not the buttons. Besides the embarrassment factor, buttons were expensive; no on wanted to loose one. They were sewn on with linen thread, and usually with a wrapped thread shank, too, so there’s NO WAY they’d pop off in the heat of passion. I’m not even sure the Gov of CA could do it….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  58. Nina — I don’t remember that from “Regency House Party”, but it does make weird sense. Since there’s no underwear, the men were supposed to tuck the shirttails between their legs, so why not maximize what you’ve got in the process? *g*
    Still, that whole idea reminds me of an infant’s “onesie” — and also explains why gentlemen may not have bathed every day, but they did change their shirts.
    Elaine — I completely agree about the flying buttons! Hairpins, yes, but not the buttons. Besides the embarrassment factor, buttons were expensive; no on wanted to loose one. They were sewn on with linen thread, and usually with a wrapped thread shank, too, so there’s NO WAY they’d pop off in the heat of passion. I’m not even sure the Gov of CA could do it….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  59. Nina — I don’t remember that from “Regency House Party”, but it does make weird sense. Since there’s no underwear, the men were supposed to tuck the shirttails between their legs, so why not maximize what you’ve got in the process? *g*
    Still, that whole idea reminds me of an infant’s “onesie” — and also explains why gentlemen may not have bathed every day, but they did change their shirts.
    Elaine — I completely agree about the flying buttons! Hairpins, yes, but not the buttons. Besides the embarrassment factor, buttons were expensive; no on wanted to loose one. They were sewn on with linen thread, and usually with a wrapped thread shank, too, so there’s NO WAY they’d pop off in the heat of passion. I’m not even sure the Gov of CA could do it….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  60. Nina — I don’t remember that from “Regency House Party”, but it does make weird sense. Since there’s no underwear, the men were supposed to tuck the shirttails between their legs, so why not maximize what you’ve got in the process? *g*
    Still, that whole idea reminds me of an infant’s “onesie” — and also explains why gentlemen may not have bathed every day, but they did change their shirts.
    Elaine — I completely agree about the flying buttons! Hairpins, yes, but not the buttons. Besides the embarrassment factor, buttons were expensive; no on wanted to loose one. They were sewn on with linen thread, and usually with a wrapped thread shank, too, so there’s NO WAY they’d pop off in the heat of passion. I’m not even sure the Gov of CA could do it….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  61. The picture of Sean Bean (the 2nd in the series) illustrated to a tee why such a yummy man would be called “studly.” (G) Oh, yes, and doesn’t he clean up nicely.

    Reply
  62. The picture of Sean Bean (the 2nd in the series) illustrated to a tee why such a yummy man would be called “studly.” (G) Oh, yes, and doesn’t he clean up nicely.

    Reply
  63. The picture of Sean Bean (the 2nd in the series) illustrated to a tee why such a yummy man would be called “studly.” (G) Oh, yes, and doesn’t he clean up nicely.

    Reply
  64. The picture of Sean Bean (the 2nd in the series) illustrated to a tee why such a yummy man would be called “studly.” (G) Oh, yes, and doesn’t he clean up nicely.

    Reply
  65. Hey All!
    On the divorce corset… Susan Wilbank hit it spot on! I own one and it does exactly what she said. Lift and separate. My DD’s look like two ripe melons proudly displayed on a grocer’s shelf.

    Reply
  66. Hey All!
    On the divorce corset… Susan Wilbank hit it spot on! I own one and it does exactly what she said. Lift and separate. My DD’s look like two ripe melons proudly displayed on a grocer’s shelf.

    Reply
  67. Hey All!
    On the divorce corset… Susan Wilbank hit it spot on! I own one and it does exactly what she said. Lift and separate. My DD’s look like two ripe melons proudly displayed on a grocer’s shelf.

    Reply
  68. Hey All!
    On the divorce corset… Susan Wilbank hit it spot on! I own one and it does exactly what she said. Lift and separate. My DD’s look like two ripe melons proudly displayed on a grocer’s shelf.

    Reply
  69. Nina & Susan — thanks for the info about the divorce corset. Divide and conquer, eh? *g* And here I was wondering if the corset was so scandalous as to cause a divorce, or was what a new divorcee would don when heading back into the match-making fray….
    Lacey — I know the woman’s all-purpose linen undergarment progresses in name from smock to shift to chemise, but for men, a shirt seems to have always been a shirt.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  70. Nina & Susan — thanks for the info about the divorce corset. Divide and conquer, eh? *g* And here I was wondering if the corset was so scandalous as to cause a divorce, or was what a new divorcee would don when heading back into the match-making fray….
    Lacey — I know the woman’s all-purpose linen undergarment progresses in name from smock to shift to chemise, but for men, a shirt seems to have always been a shirt.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  71. Nina & Susan — thanks for the info about the divorce corset. Divide and conquer, eh? *g* And here I was wondering if the corset was so scandalous as to cause a divorce, or was what a new divorcee would don when heading back into the match-making fray….
    Lacey — I know the woman’s all-purpose linen undergarment progresses in name from smock to shift to chemise, but for men, a shirt seems to have always been a shirt.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  72. Nina & Susan — thanks for the info about the divorce corset. Divide and conquer, eh? *g* And here I was wondering if the corset was so scandalous as to cause a divorce, or was what a new divorcee would don when heading back into the match-making fray….
    Lacey — I know the woman’s all-purpose linen undergarment progresses in name from smock to shift to chemise, but for men, a shirt seems to have always been a shirt.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  73. You people are a trip! I’ve had such fun reading these posts. I don’t have a problem with the half-naked men on the covers, although I appreciate it when the rest of the clothes are somewhat accurate. The covers are largely sales tools, and the writer doesn’t have much say.
    Re the virgins and orgasms, it depends. I’ve read bad virgin orgasms and absolutely lovely ones. As for sexually competent heroes, yes please! Romance is fiction. It’s fantasy. I like the sex to make sense, to jive with the characters and their growth, but it should be satisfying on every level.
    On the other hand, I do get mildly annoyed at historical inaccuracies, but if the story’s sufficiently entertaining I’ll put up with them. (When I notice them, that is — I’m still learning and always will be. Thanks to this blog, I just deleted “cotton” and substituted “linen” in my WIP. Thanks!)

    Reply
  74. You people are a trip! I’ve had such fun reading these posts. I don’t have a problem with the half-naked men on the covers, although I appreciate it when the rest of the clothes are somewhat accurate. The covers are largely sales tools, and the writer doesn’t have much say.
    Re the virgins and orgasms, it depends. I’ve read bad virgin orgasms and absolutely lovely ones. As for sexually competent heroes, yes please! Romance is fiction. It’s fantasy. I like the sex to make sense, to jive with the characters and their growth, but it should be satisfying on every level.
    On the other hand, I do get mildly annoyed at historical inaccuracies, but if the story’s sufficiently entertaining I’ll put up with them. (When I notice them, that is — I’m still learning and always will be. Thanks to this blog, I just deleted “cotton” and substituted “linen” in my WIP. Thanks!)

    Reply
  75. You people are a trip! I’ve had such fun reading these posts. I don’t have a problem with the half-naked men on the covers, although I appreciate it when the rest of the clothes are somewhat accurate. The covers are largely sales tools, and the writer doesn’t have much say.
    Re the virgins and orgasms, it depends. I’ve read bad virgin orgasms and absolutely lovely ones. As for sexually competent heroes, yes please! Romance is fiction. It’s fantasy. I like the sex to make sense, to jive with the characters and their growth, but it should be satisfying on every level.
    On the other hand, I do get mildly annoyed at historical inaccuracies, but if the story’s sufficiently entertaining I’ll put up with them. (When I notice them, that is — I’m still learning and always will be. Thanks to this blog, I just deleted “cotton” and substituted “linen” in my WIP. Thanks!)

    Reply
  76. You people are a trip! I’ve had such fun reading these posts. I don’t have a problem with the half-naked men on the covers, although I appreciate it when the rest of the clothes are somewhat accurate. The covers are largely sales tools, and the writer doesn’t have much say.
    Re the virgins and orgasms, it depends. I’ve read bad virgin orgasms and absolutely lovely ones. As for sexually competent heroes, yes please! Romance is fiction. It’s fantasy. I like the sex to make sense, to jive with the characters and their growth, but it should be satisfying on every level.
    On the other hand, I do get mildly annoyed at historical inaccuracies, but if the story’s sufficiently entertaining I’ll put up with them. (When I notice them, that is — I’m still learning and always will be. Thanks to this blog, I just deleted “cotton” and substituted “linen” in my WIP. Thanks!)

    Reply
  77. Fascinating stuff, Susan, and I prefer the men on covers to be dressed, though I do confess to being quite happy with a little disarrangement. 🙂
    In period portraits or reasonably accurate screen pictures, the most stylish dressing doesn’t look at all comfortable. And of course there are some period pictures of gentlemen relaxing or enjoying the country in much looser clothing, thank heavens, the poor things.
    I don’t know why it’s such a fight to convince art departments that the shirts didn’t open all the way. Even when they’re not trying for the bare-chested look, they have trouble with it.
    The gentlemen did, of course, wear drawers, though examples rarely survive. I have a picture somewhere of a pair of Jefferson’s. Again, very simply cut and quite voluminous.
    You know, I suspect that men like Brummel had drawers specially made so as not to make unsightly bulges. Why not? If you’re going to fuss about the precise fit of your jacket and even your gloves?
    Ah, it’s all fascinating!
    Jo

    Reply
  78. Fascinating stuff, Susan, and I prefer the men on covers to be dressed, though I do confess to being quite happy with a little disarrangement. 🙂
    In period portraits or reasonably accurate screen pictures, the most stylish dressing doesn’t look at all comfortable. And of course there are some period pictures of gentlemen relaxing or enjoying the country in much looser clothing, thank heavens, the poor things.
    I don’t know why it’s such a fight to convince art departments that the shirts didn’t open all the way. Even when they’re not trying for the bare-chested look, they have trouble with it.
    The gentlemen did, of course, wear drawers, though examples rarely survive. I have a picture somewhere of a pair of Jefferson’s. Again, very simply cut and quite voluminous.
    You know, I suspect that men like Brummel had drawers specially made so as not to make unsightly bulges. Why not? If you’re going to fuss about the precise fit of your jacket and even your gloves?
    Ah, it’s all fascinating!
    Jo

    Reply
  79. Fascinating stuff, Susan, and I prefer the men on covers to be dressed, though I do confess to being quite happy with a little disarrangement. 🙂
    In period portraits or reasonably accurate screen pictures, the most stylish dressing doesn’t look at all comfortable. And of course there are some period pictures of gentlemen relaxing or enjoying the country in much looser clothing, thank heavens, the poor things.
    I don’t know why it’s such a fight to convince art departments that the shirts didn’t open all the way. Even when they’re not trying for the bare-chested look, they have trouble with it.
    The gentlemen did, of course, wear drawers, though examples rarely survive. I have a picture somewhere of a pair of Jefferson’s. Again, very simply cut and quite voluminous.
    You know, I suspect that men like Brummel had drawers specially made so as not to make unsightly bulges. Why not? If you’re going to fuss about the precise fit of your jacket and even your gloves?
    Ah, it’s all fascinating!
    Jo

    Reply
  80. Fascinating stuff, Susan, and I prefer the men on covers to be dressed, though I do confess to being quite happy with a little disarrangement. 🙂
    In period portraits or reasonably accurate screen pictures, the most stylish dressing doesn’t look at all comfortable. And of course there are some period pictures of gentlemen relaxing or enjoying the country in much looser clothing, thank heavens, the poor things.
    I don’t know why it’s such a fight to convince art departments that the shirts didn’t open all the way. Even when they’re not trying for the bare-chested look, they have trouble with it.
    The gentlemen did, of course, wear drawers, though examples rarely survive. I have a picture somewhere of a pair of Jefferson’s. Again, very simply cut and quite voluminous.
    You know, I suspect that men like Brummel had drawers specially made so as not to make unsightly bulges. Why not? If you’re going to fuss about the precise fit of your jacket and even your gloves?
    Ah, it’s all fascinating!
    Jo

    Reply
  81. Barbara, glad to hear that there’s now linen in your WIP. Everyone always assumes it should be cotton, but until the invention of the cotton gin, cotton just isn’t a practical fiber. And yes, we here at the Wenches ARE a trip! *g*
    You’re right, Jo, the art directors are a very hard nut to crack about costume accuracy, and it will likely only get worse as more and more cover artists rely on Photoshop’d art, and thus whatever’s in the studio’s wardrobe. And I agree that a certain amount of “dishevellment” is a mighty fine thing to behold.
    By the Regency, yes, gentlemen were beginning to wear drawers, though it’s by no means universal. Before that, the average Georgian gentlemen and their predecessors most definitely didn’t. The TJ examples must be from later in his life, after he’d travelled abroad and returned to Virginia with lots of new-fangled ideas (and what an unusual thing to be preserved from a “founding father”, too!)
    At some point we should probably discuss breeches/trousers, too. Now THAT would make for an interesting blog. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  82. Barbara, glad to hear that there’s now linen in your WIP. Everyone always assumes it should be cotton, but until the invention of the cotton gin, cotton just isn’t a practical fiber. And yes, we here at the Wenches ARE a trip! *g*
    You’re right, Jo, the art directors are a very hard nut to crack about costume accuracy, and it will likely only get worse as more and more cover artists rely on Photoshop’d art, and thus whatever’s in the studio’s wardrobe. And I agree that a certain amount of “dishevellment” is a mighty fine thing to behold.
    By the Regency, yes, gentlemen were beginning to wear drawers, though it’s by no means universal. Before that, the average Georgian gentlemen and their predecessors most definitely didn’t. The TJ examples must be from later in his life, after he’d travelled abroad and returned to Virginia with lots of new-fangled ideas (and what an unusual thing to be preserved from a “founding father”, too!)
    At some point we should probably discuss breeches/trousers, too. Now THAT would make for an interesting blog. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  83. Barbara, glad to hear that there’s now linen in your WIP. Everyone always assumes it should be cotton, but until the invention of the cotton gin, cotton just isn’t a practical fiber. And yes, we here at the Wenches ARE a trip! *g*
    You’re right, Jo, the art directors are a very hard nut to crack about costume accuracy, and it will likely only get worse as more and more cover artists rely on Photoshop’d art, and thus whatever’s in the studio’s wardrobe. And I agree that a certain amount of “dishevellment” is a mighty fine thing to behold.
    By the Regency, yes, gentlemen were beginning to wear drawers, though it’s by no means universal. Before that, the average Georgian gentlemen and their predecessors most definitely didn’t. The TJ examples must be from later in his life, after he’d travelled abroad and returned to Virginia with lots of new-fangled ideas (and what an unusual thing to be preserved from a “founding father”, too!)
    At some point we should probably discuss breeches/trousers, too. Now THAT would make for an interesting blog. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  84. Barbara, glad to hear that there’s now linen in your WIP. Everyone always assumes it should be cotton, but until the invention of the cotton gin, cotton just isn’t a practical fiber. And yes, we here at the Wenches ARE a trip! *g*
    You’re right, Jo, the art directors are a very hard nut to crack about costume accuracy, and it will likely only get worse as more and more cover artists rely on Photoshop’d art, and thus whatever’s in the studio’s wardrobe. And I agree that a certain amount of “dishevellment” is a mighty fine thing to behold.
    By the Regency, yes, gentlemen were beginning to wear drawers, though it’s by no means universal. Before that, the average Georgian gentlemen and their predecessors most definitely didn’t. The TJ examples must be from later in his life, after he’d travelled abroad and returned to Virginia with lots of new-fangled ideas (and what an unusual thing to be preserved from a “founding father”, too!)
    At some point we should probably discuss breeches/trousers, too. Now THAT would make for an interesting blog. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  85. Fully dressed is my choice! Better yet would be a nice outdoor scene. I have grandchildren and I prefer they didn’t see some of those covers! lol When I take a book with me to a doctor’s office and other place to read while I wait, I also prefer a cover with a nice scene! 🙂

    Reply
  86. Fully dressed is my choice! Better yet would be a nice outdoor scene. I have grandchildren and I prefer they didn’t see some of those covers! lol When I take a book with me to a doctor’s office and other place to read while I wait, I also prefer a cover with a nice scene! 🙂

    Reply
  87. Fully dressed is my choice! Better yet would be a nice outdoor scene. I have grandchildren and I prefer they didn’t see some of those covers! lol When I take a book with me to a doctor’s office and other place to read while I wait, I also prefer a cover with a nice scene! 🙂

    Reply
  88. Fully dressed is my choice! Better yet would be a nice outdoor scene. I have grandchildren and I prefer they didn’t see some of those covers! lol When I take a book with me to a doctor’s office and other place to read while I wait, I also prefer a cover with a nice scene! 🙂

    Reply
  89. I vote for clothes on also…love Diane Gaston covers. I have a question though. All those clothes made me think of the smell, which made me think of bathing, which made me think of two movies: Valmont and Vanity Fair. In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?

    Reply
  90. I vote for clothes on also…love Diane Gaston covers. I have a question though. All those clothes made me think of the smell, which made me think of bathing, which made me think of two movies: Valmont and Vanity Fair. In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?

    Reply
  91. I vote for clothes on also…love Diane Gaston covers. I have a question though. All those clothes made me think of the smell, which made me think of bathing, which made me think of two movies: Valmont and Vanity Fair. In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?

    Reply
  92. I vote for clothes on also…love Diane Gaston covers. I have a question though. All those clothes made me think of the smell, which made me think of bathing, which made me think of two movies: Valmont and Vanity Fair. In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?

    Reply
  93. Kay wrote:”In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?”
    Kay, I asked around the other Wenches, and we all agreed that this is such an excellent question that it deserves an entire blog itself. Look for Loretta to address this (and a good deal more!) in a blog soon.:)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  94. Kay wrote:”In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?”
    Kay, I asked around the other Wenches, and we all agreed that this is such an excellent question that it deserves an entire blog itself. Look for Loretta to address this (and a good deal more!) in a blog soon.:)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  95. Kay wrote:”In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?”
    Kay, I asked around the other Wenches, and we all agreed that this is such an excellent question that it deserves an entire blog itself. Look for Loretta to address this (and a good deal more!) in a blog soon.:)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  96. Kay wrote:”In those movies they showed women bathing in a tub with some kind of cloth draped over the tub and with a shirt/blouse/chemise worn. Does anyone know what that was all about? Was that Hollywood or was it real?”
    Kay, I asked around the other Wenches, and we all agreed that this is such an excellent question that it deserves an entire blog itself. Look for Loretta to address this (and a good deal more!) in a blog soon.:)
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply

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