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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

Dressing the Past

Dressing the Past.

Whether you dress the part or part the dress the ego is influenced by the mode of the moment, and history, which is as much histrionic as cyclonic, might easily have changed its spots with its spats and its points with its pants. Well might you ask if Napoleon could have gone nap in “bun” and “boweyhangs.” Could the Iron Duke have heaved his hardware and made such a success of the ironmongery business on the fields of France, dressed like a shop-walker instead of a shock-worker? Caesar in sack-cloth might have been sacked rather than “socked.” Samuel Pepys would have sacrificed “pep” if his body-basting had been ecclesiastical instead of enthusiastical. Hannibal in hand-me-downs, Samson in slippers, Drake in “duck,” Wolsey in woolies, Blake in a blazer, Alexander in an alpaca, King Henry the Eighth in a divorce suit, and Joan of Arc in a jumper, would have reacted to rig, and history would have had its face sifted by the plastic serge-ons and its tale clipped by the tailors. For many a man has been spitted by spats, deranged by dungarees, submerged in silk, smothered in smock, K.O'd. by clothing and clubbed by “clobber.”