The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday, 31 December 2010

"Hats are the universal head covering in England, even for working men, hats of the most diverse forms, round, high, broad-brimmed, narrow-brimmed, or without brims-only the younger men in factory towns wearing caps. Anyone who does not own a hat folds himself a low square paper cap"

Friedrich Engels The Condition of the Working Class in England 1845

Comments on the working class of Manchester and Salford when Engels from Germany was working for his father's cotton mill business in Manchester as a clerk; my husband is reading the book. There are some really fascinating excerpts about the clothing of middle and working class and descriptions on the cloth worn which defined your place in society. Fustion for the working class (which when looked up is linked to denim cloth) Broadcloth for the middle classes. Though not key to my work now on the MA definitely is something to park to one side for later as it fits with my research into the Trade Union movement and suffrage from the cotton mills of the North.

On the accessories front we see that the hat was ubiquitous then, as the mobile phone is now; accessories move with form, function and fashion.

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