Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Importance of Plus-Fours (Pumpky)

Now that the weather has settled into being around 80-90° each day, everyone in the library (myself included) has caught cold. Everywhere one looks, someone is sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose. I must say that this does not make it easy to prepare the conference paper I will be giving on Tuesday, as generally I have to read a paper out loud numerous times as I try to fit it into exactly twenty minutes and no more. My throat is not up for such workouts and has not been for most of the past month. Thus, sitting on the couch going over my text is not very appealing; joining the rest of the sick is somewhat more tolerable.
Since my brain is not up for much in this state (even though it is a very mild cold thus far), I am not examining anything requiring much serious thought. Instead, I am learning that so-called homespuns were a favorite fabric for men’s sporting garments in 1926. (Homespuns, really? I am skeptical, but that’s what Gentleman tells me.) One could also get special fabrics with names like Sportex, Traveltex, and Smartex. (I guess names haven’t changed much in eighty years. I wonder whether Healthtex is still a major name in American children’s clothing…)
The most important parts of a sporting outfit, however, were one’s plus-fours and cap. I’m not sure why, but that’s what the article in front of me says. As for one’s shirt, the best material is flannel. (In the winter, I guess.) Oxford fabric can also be used. Ah yes, in the summer one could also have silk. Pearly buttons could be employed on the shirt. And one mustn’t wear the plus-fours without a strong pair of wool socks. I don’t suppose it would be appropriate for the sporting male of 1926 to show his calves.
I will spare my readers the details of white elastic collars, sport ulsters, impregnated gabardine, and how to buy a hat.
No, men's sporting attire of 1926 does not relate closely to my dissertation, but other topics covered in Gentleman are more apropos.

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Blogger Kristen said...

Hope you feel better soon! (And I'm glad plus fours have pretty well been regulated to occasional appearance on the golf course!)

June 21, 2006 9:37 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

I had better feel better right away! As for the plus-fours, I think they have a certain charm, but I'm not sure what I would think of them on a live person. I think it might depend on his figure.

June 21, 2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger P'tit-Loup said...

What in the world is a plus four?

June 23, 2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

They're those somewhat puffy knee pants, also called knickerbockers.

June 28, 2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger P'tit-Loup said...

U chapu!

June 29, 2006 6:05 AM  

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