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Our Slavic Fellow Citizens - 1910

Slovak Emigration
Chapter VI

Men's Dress

The men, especially the young fellows, are often great dandies. Sometimes they wear jackets and trousers of cadet-blue cloth, fitted like a glove and braided with black in loopiog designs. Sometimes they are dressed in white linen, with wide fringed trousers and a narrow dark-blue apron. It is astonishing how both men and women dig and delve in white linen and still look clean.

Especially archaic are the wide-brimmed black felt hats, looking almost like the old-fashioned cocked hat, worn by the men in some districts, and the enormous leather belts. Sometimes these appear to be a good foot and a half wide; they are studded with brass trimmings and serve as pouches for all the necessaries especially tobacco.

A very important article of dress for both men and women is the sheepskin garment made with the wool inside and the leather out, or sometimes reversible according to weather. It may be quite plain ar much adorned, -- dyed, embroidered, trimmed with applique leather or with brass work, or with borders of wool of a contrasting color. These garments take many forms; in some places they appear as close-fitting, sleeveless jackets, very pretty and very comfortable; in other places, as long-sleeved coats. Sometimes this coat is made not of sheepskin, but of the heavy home-made felt called hunia. This may be dark brown or blue, but is oftener white and is also used instead of leather for tall boots, which can be kept white and clean by washing.

It interested me very much to note how certain characteristics articles of dress -- such as the moccasin like shoe, the leather coat, the belt, the kerchief or shawl -- appear here and there among all the different Slav nationalities that I have had an opportunity to observe, running through a whole gamut of modifications. Nowhere could the student of the natural history of costume find richer fields.

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