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Styles of 1816

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Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Styles of 1816 Reply with quote

The dress of the women at Governor de Sola's inaugural ball held at Monterey in 1816 was the same style as had been used by the first families nearly half a century before—an enagua of fine white muslin almost transparent, coming down halfway from knee to foot, ornamented with spangles of gold and floreado, all round, presenting a very striking appearance in the light of lamps, torches, and candles.

Hair in front was cut short and came down to the middle of the forehead; this front was then called the tupe. A lock on each side, called balcarras, hung down to the cheek; the rest of the hair was gathered up behind in black or colored silk net. A close-fitting jacket of silk joined the enagua at the waist, and was buttoned or hooked up to the neck. Flesh-colored silk stockings, low shoes of white satin, pendants and dormilonas, very long ear-drops, and strings of Lower California pearls round the neck, were worn; also a wide scarlet ribbon round the waist, whose ends fell to the bottom of the skirt, with a gold plate five or six inches wide terminating each end. There was also a rebozo of silk of different colors. Street shoes, or zapatos de patillo, had high heels made of light wood.

Bias Pena, born at Monterey in 1823, says that in his day men wore corduroy or cloth britches, jackets, broad-brimmed, low-crowned hats, placing around the crown a girdle of silver or gold thread, or beads. Top-boots were common of chamois skin or leather, the upper part secured with silk ribbon of various colors. They also wore berruchi shoes, and another kind called zapatones, a large clumsy affair. The berruchi were tied on the outer side, the zapatones on the middle of the foot, with thin straps or with strings.

Some of the men wore short breeches, reaching down to the knee only, open about six inches on the outer side, where were buttons of silver, or of some base metal. They had falls which were closed with a fine silver button, or with one of copper. The buttons used by the wealthy had the Mexican eagle stamped on them. The breeches were secured round the waist with a handsome silk sash, which was further ornamented with tassels of gold or silver thread, the ends hanging on either side, or both on one side, but never in the middle. Men were likewise accustomed to wear cloth sleeves of blue or black with silk or velvet cuffs, round which was silver or gold thread wound.

Women in former times braided their hair in one piece, and twisted it round the top of the head, which fashion was called peniado del molote, the molete being held by a comb made of horn, or of tortoise-shell. The American Captain Fitch, in one of his voyages from Peru, brought to Monterey four tortoise-shell combs, which he sold at $600 each, one of them being purchased by Jose de la Guerra y Noriega, one by Mariano Estrada, another by Joaquin Maitorena, and the third by M. G. Valiejo.

In 1804, Commandante de la Guerra prohibited civilians of any class the wearing of any insignia or ornament of those used by the military troops—especially the cuffs, coloarin, or edging of the collar, and the solapa or lapels of red color. Any one wearing any of those appendages should have them taken off, and should suffer eight days' arrest in the calaboza. A repetition of the offense would be punished according to the condition and circumstances of the offender. All which was published by bando (Proclamation), and the corporals were instructed to see that the bando was obeyed.
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