Friday, July 27, 2012

A Hostess Can't Control Every Detail.

This little article appeared in the New York Times on August 18, 1904, the day before Mrs. Oelrichs’s ball was to take place.  Mrs. Oelrichs and her social adviser, Harry Lehr, decided that she should hold a “white ball” where men would wear white court costumes (and no mustaches) while women would wear white gowns and hair arranged a la pompadour. They must have envisioned a scene like the engraving above. Apparently there is a limit to what a hostess can expect.

Won’t Shave Mustaches and Wear White Even on Lehr’s Dictum.
Special to The New York Times.
   NEWPORT, Aug. 17.  – There is a revolt among the men invited to attend Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs’s white ball on Friday evening, against the wearing of white satin coats and knee breeches.
   Elisha Dyer, Jr., is leader of the revolt, and says that his ordinary black dress suit is good enough for him, and that if a white coat is an essential, he will not attend the affair.
   He says that Harry Lehr may order the guests to shave their mustaches and wear white coats, but the order does not go so far as he is concerned.
(The New York Times, August 18, 1904.)

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