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Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

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The mirror of the graces; or, the English lady's costume: combining and harmonizing taste and judgment, elegance and grace, modesty, simplicity and economy, with fashion in dress; and adapting the various articles of female embellishments to different ages, forms, and complexions; to the seasons of the year, rank, and situation in life: with useful advice on female accomplishments, politeness, and manners; the cultivation of the mind and the disposition and carriage of the body: offering also the most efficacious means of preserving beauty, health, and loveliness. The whole according with the general principles of nature and rules of propriety

General remarks on the manners and fashions of the past and present times,   pp. 20-25

Page 23

in the garments of the lovely, but fiail, beau-
ties of the Second Charles's court. But, as
change too often is carried to extremes; in
this case, the unzoned taste of the English la-
dies thought no freedom too free ; their vest-
ments were gradually unloosened of the brace,
until another touch would have exposed the
wearer to no thicker covering than the am-
bient air.
  The matron reign of Anne, in some measure,
corrected this indecency. But it was not till
the accession of the House of Brunswick that
it was finally exploded, and gave way, by de-
grees, to the ancient mode of female fortifica-
tion, by introducing the hideous Parisian fashion
of hoops, buckram stays, waists to the hips
screwed to the circumference of a wasp, bro-
caded silks stiff with gold, shoes with heels so
high as to set the wearer on her toes; and
heads, for quantity of false hair, either horse or
human, and height to outweigh and perhaps
outreach the Tower of Babel! These were the
figures which our grandmothers exhibited;
nay, such was the appearance I myself made
in my early youth; and something like it may

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