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Chapter the Fifth Of the Dress of the Transylvanians of


It was before my time, but I have heard for certain that in olden days ladies of quality wore fur-l ined garments, each according to her station, some of pine-marten, some beech­ marten, some civet, in a word, according to their means, as I saw in my childhood my grandmother Judit Imecs's coat l ined with civet, and I have heard for certain that other high-ranking ladies of old too even then had their furs . High-born young ladies wore on their heads a high-pointed, backward-hanging crown-shaped head-dress, consisting of a circlet of six bones, strongly bound with leather and set with fine pearls or coral according to their means, worn above the nape of the neck but a little below the top of the head; women and girls wore blouses with sleeves that were puffed above the elbow, and from elbow to wrist gathered and tight, and their best dress was l ike a tabard, sometimes embroidered with gold, sometimes decorated with fine pearls , which they put on over the blouse with i t s gathered, tubular sleeves. Ladies of higher rank wore gloves of silk, some of them with ornaments sewn or embroidered in silver thread; those of lower degree had gloves of mere cotton, and top joints of their fingers were exposed. Girls were not offered for sale in those days by display of their breasts, but there was a garment of cambric , embroidered or appliqued, like the front of a little blouse, which instead of a collar covered their breasts right to the throat, reaching to their neckerchiefs ; that I saw in my own childhood. Previously both women and girls wore both on their bodice and their blouse very tiny paillettes of copper, as small as lenti ls, sewn

on thickly all over, so that there would be two or three thousands of such paillettes sewn on or appliqued; such a blouse was puffed to the elbow and below that narrow to the wrist, and was called a pipe-sleeved blouse. In those days women did not have blouses with fronts pleated to the neck, but the blouse opened at the front and had a tie, and were so secured at the neck, because in those days the blouse reached right to the neck, and they did not shamelessly flaunt their breasts as if at a jumble-sale, as women and girls do today, so that their necks and breasts are almost completely, for the most part half naked, as if they were offering them to men.