I am not now at leisure to give my Opinion upon the Hat and Feather; however to wipe off the present Imputation, and gratifie my Female Correspondent, I shall here print a Letter which I lately received from a Man of Mode, who seems to have a very extraordinary Genius in his way.
SIR, I presume I need not inform you, that among Men of Dress it is a common Phrase to say Mr. Such an one has struck a bold Stroke; by which we understand, that he is the first Man who has had Courage enough to lead up a Fashion. Accordingly, when our Taylors take Measure of us, they always demand whether we will have a plain Suit, or strike a bold Stroke. 1 think I may without Vanity say, that I have struck some of the boldest and most successful Strokes of any Man in Great Britain. I was the first that struck the Long Pocket about two Years since: I was likewise the Author of the Frosted Button, which when I saw the Town came readily into, being resolved to strike while the Iron was hot, I produced much about the same time the Scallop Flap, the knotted Cravat, and made a fair Push for the Silver-clocked Stocking.
A few Months after I brought up the modish Jacket, or the Coat with close Sleeves. I struck this at first in a plain Doily; but that failing, I struck it a second time in blue Camlet; and repeated the Stroke in several kinds of Cloth, till at last it took effect. There are two or three young Fellows at the other End of the Town, who have always their Eye upon me, and answer me Stroke for Stroke. I was once so unwary as to mention my Fancy in relation to the new-fashioned Surtout before one of these Gentlemen, who was disingenuous enough to steal my Thought, and by that means prevented my intended Stroke.
I have a Design this Spring to make very
considerable Innovations in
the Wastcoat, and have already begun with a Coup dessai upon the
Sleeves, which has succeeded very well.
I must further inform you, if you will
promise to encourage or at
least to connive at me, that it is my Design to strike such a Stroke
the Beginning of the next Month, as shall surprise the whole Town.
I do not think it prudent to acquaint you with all the Particulars of my intended Dress; but will only tell you, as a Sample of it, that I shall very speedily appear at Whites in a Cherry-coloured Hat. I took this Hint from the Ladies Hoods, which I look upon as the boldest Stroke that Sex has struck for these hundred Years last past.
I am, SIR,
Your most Obedient, most Humble Servant,
[I have not Time at present to make any Reflections on this Letter, but must not however omit that having shewn it to WILL. HONEYCOMB, he desires to be acquainted with the Gentleman who writ it.]
[Footnote 1: only an Ensign in the Train Bands.]