Fillers One hundred years ago

Disease and fashion

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7516.554 (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:554

FASHIONS in dress often have their origin in the wish to hide disfigurement caused by disease. The voluminous trunk hose worn by English gallants at the beginning of the seventeenth century were introduced by James I as a means of concealing an unsightly malformation. Slaves of fashion to whom Nature had refused an adequate curve of the hip had to supply the deficiency by art. Readers will remember the story told by Carlyle of the discomfiture of the unlucky courtier who sat down on a nail, and on rising to receive His Majesty instantaneously emitted several pecks of bran, and stood a pitiable figure with his …

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