beaunashI had thought I had heard the last of “Beau Nash,” the correspondent who reproved me some weeks ago for suggesting that white spats and white gloves were worn by the right sort of men just now. In my article of May 26 I told this correspondent how he could satisfy himself that he was wrong and that I was right, but I see from the postmark of his letter (which he does not sign with his name) that he lives a long way from London. Therefore, I do not see why he should pose as an authority on men’s fashions, which are invariably “set” in London. But “Beau Nash” raises another point which may be of interest to other readers of these articles, and so I quote a part of his long letter. “These white spats and white and yellow gloves are an innovation, I take it,” he writes, “from the Continent, and as distinctly un-English as the green Tyrolese hat with the bow at the back which set my blood boiling. No, sir, let Englishmen dress as Englishmen, and not be led by foreigners and play actors. The old English breed always led the foreigners in fashion of dress, and should do so still; but when I see the atrocities I have mentioned above I lament the decadence of the British race, and pray that it may be but a temporary aberration which is at present permeating this country in every manner and form, and that matters may eventually readjust themselves, and English gentlemen again assert their superiority not only in dress but in ‘arms’ and in ‘men.’” So now you know what kind of man “Beau Nash” is. He concludes his letter with a story of a solicitor who wore a satin bow at the ball. “Beau Nash” was a steward at the ball, and but for his kindly intervention the offending solicitor would have been thrown out. I take it that the moral of this true story is that you must not be a solicitor, and that if you are you must not wear a satin bow at a ball, but as I have never advocated the wearing of satin bows at balls I do not know why “Beau Nash” should trouble to write three pages about the young solicitor and his bow. But, replying to “Beau Nash” regarding those Tyrolese hats which make his blood boil, I will give him the name of one man who was usually regarded in England and on the Continent as the leader of fashion, a man who, when he travelled on the Continent, was followed at a respectful distance by Continental tailors, anxious to know what London fashions were. I refer, of course, to King Edward. It was King Edward who first introduced that green hat into this country; and, by the way, it is a Homburg hat – not a Tyrolese. Hats of this kind were made originally for Continental sportsmen, and King Edward set the fashion among sportsmen in this country. He frequently wore one when he was shooting. If “Beau Nash” wants any proof he can turn to “King Edward VII as a Sportsman,” by Alfred E. T. Watson, in which are several photographs of His late Majesty wearing this hat. King Edward also liked this hat when he was motoring; I know, because I frequently saw him wearing one.

Source: Hot summer fashions for men – fashion archive, 16 June 1912 | Fashion | The Guardian