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About the year 1658 petticoat breeches crossed the silver streak from Versailles, and became the vogue at the Court of Charles II. Randal Holme, writing in 1659, describes the dress as follows:—"A short-waisted doublet and petticoat breeches, the lining being lower than the breeches and tied above the knees; the breeches are ornamented with ribands up to the pocket, and half their breadth upon the thigh; the waistband is set about with ribands, and the shirt hanging out over them." The petticoat breeches were not ridiculous in themselves—the modern Scotch kilt, which is an extremely picturesque and even reasonable costume, is made upon precisely the same principle; it was the absurd{130} lace ruffles, which hung drooping below the knee, which were worn with the petticoats during the earlier period, and in which Charles II. is figured in Heath's Chronicle, 1662, which made the costume a banality. The figure of the exquisite of 1670 from Jacquemin wears the petticoat breeches, but without the ruffles or frills at the knees. It must be confessed, however, that the gentleman possesses a sufficiency of frill!

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Chats on Costume, by G. Woolliscroft Rhead Published 1906