Category Archives: Pants

Karl XI’s petticoat breeches

In the archives of Sweden’s Royal Armoury, from 1669:

1669_Karl XI_19662

Cloth of silver petticoat breeches – 22″ waist, with 56″ circumference for each leg. (Each. Leg!)  Approx. 5 yards of 4″ silver lace around hem and along side seams, with an additional 16 yds of 1/2″ inch trip applied vertically along the hem (inserted into small slits in the fabric, under the lace). There are traces of old stitches along the sides where rosettes or loops of ribbon might have originally been attached. Two hidden pockets on interior of waistband, two large pockets along sides (though not on actual seams.)

Gettin' my Janet Arnold on.

Possibly worn with this?:

The 15-year-old Charles in 1697 as king of the Swedish Empire

Mind. Blown.

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Detroit Institute of Art

I was in Detroit last week for a wedding, and I made a visit to the Detroit Institute of Art, which was nearly worth the trip in itself. What a great museum! A beautifully designed space with an inspiring collection of some real treasures. I hope for Detroit’s sake they don’t have to sell them. In an appropriate-to-the-weekend-highlight was this fantastic painting “The Wedding Dance” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1566).  Of course I’ve seen it before, but not until it was in front of my face did I notice the amazing detail of this gentleman’s codpiece – with what appears to be a money purse in it! There are so few painting sources for codpieces used as pockets that they are precious to come across:

WeddingDance

If you’re interested in learning more about that fascinating fashion, you can visit this video I made about the History of the Codpiece.