Dress and modesty

From "Kit and Kitty," a 1890 novel by R.D. Blackmore, who had no affection for ostentatious dress:
When I opened the door, I saw a very pretty girl, but no more to be compared with my darling Kitty, than a tulip with a lily of the valley. Although it was close upon winter now, she had a striped parasol, which I detest; and her velvet hat (turned down over one ear, and turned up at the other) had two kingfisher's wings stuck crosswise, and between them a gorgeous topaz humming-bird. You might look at my Kitty fifty times; and if any one asked you how she was dressed, you would have to say, "I have not the least idea," if you happened not to be a woman. But this young lady's attire compelled attention, and perhaps deserved it.
All of Blackmore's works but 1869's "Lorna Doone" have gone out of print, says Wikipedia, which is a shame, because they're delightful.  He was a great favorite of Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, and James Barrie.  Luckily, Project Gutenberg has quite a few of Blackmore's works and soon will have more, including "Kit and Kitty."

The Gutenberg work continues to engross me.  I've done about 30,000 pages.


Grim said...

Cowboy boots appear ostentatious: the high heels, the pointed toe, the elaborate stitching. But every part of that serves a purpose for riding horses:

The pointed toe slips easily in and out of a stirrup, making it easy to mount and less likely that your foot will hang up in a fall.

The high heel keeps your foot from going too far forward in the stirrup.

The elaborate stitching makes the leather rigid and keeps it tall, so it can protect the legs against thorns and brush.

Ostentatious is fine as long as everything serves a purpose. I don't like useless things, no more than useless people.

Jeannette said...

Function is a worthy dictator of clothing and then there are those who wander off into the land of "stud you duds."
One drawback to cowboy boots is their need to be inspected before stepping into them perchance they have become a handy warm shelter for a slithering one. Sandals don't have that problem but they really don't work for horse or snake country.

By the way, I visited your "other blog" and then hit the next button and was taken right into a series of European blogs. I have no idea what the algorithm or how random it might be , but when exploring the "next blog button" other times there seemed to be some logic of connection.

Texan99 said...

Jeannette, I'm pleased you came over here! For those of you who don't frequent AVI's place, Jeannette has an extremely charming blog that often features just the sort of handicrafts that I can't get enough of.


Grim said...

Ecclesiastes. "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days."

Matt said...

Ecclesiastes: "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days."

The waters Koheleth lived near clearly didn't have ducks...

Texan99 said...

I enjoyed the gentle jab at the end, about her dress not only compelling attention, but "deserving" it. The author doesn't feel the same way about deserving attention that the young lady does.

Ymar Sakar said...

Cuteness is its own function in society.