L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, February 22, 2019

A most beautiful suit of clothes / a beautiful ruin

This dress suit, circa 1790, resides in the Henry Ford Historic Costume Collection of Wayne University. I adore it, not least because this shade of green is one of my absolute favorite colors. Though beautifully cut and embroidered, and quite costly to produce even in its day, it hasn't survived in the best of shape. Much of the embroidery has suffered. There are patches of color loss in the green silk. And badly done alterations and/or repairs were made during the twentieth century, most likely so it could be worn in a theatrical production. Somewhere along the line it has also lost its coordinating waistcoat. Sad, all of that. But it does survive.

This awful addition at the back is surely the worst indignity of all. 


Thank you to Paul Ellis, who featured some of these images on his wonderful Facebook page, Attire's Mind.

Also, a few years back I did another post with many more examples of suits from this same period - et voilà!


  1. Stephen - I must thank you for this posting of an amazing historical garment. The embroidery is beautiful and I'm at a loss for words to describe my admiration for the quality, and more importantly, the time taken to create such glorious embroidery. Embroidery is something I love and and try to create but obviously not to this level of artistry. This has provided me with inspiration to improve my level of stitching! Thanks for your unique and wonderful posts!

    1. Oh, thank you! So you know, I did a related post a few years ago; there's a LOT more where this came from! : )


  2. These always remind me of "The Tailor of Gloucester" and "No more twist!"

    When you think of the hours of work that went into all that embroidery...