Woman’s gray-green wool riding habit, early 20th century. The double-breasted jacket is quite fitted; a button and thread loop hook up the side-saddle skirt on the right side. It is labeled: Charles Wm. Davis / Tailor to Royalty / 56 Brook Street W. / Exactly Opposite Claridge’s Hotel / Riding Habits, Tailor Gowns, etc. It was worn by Josephine Dulles Eppes (1855-1920) of Virginia.
Gift of Mrs. John Hatcher in 1975
Riding and the hunt have been popular pastimes for elite society throughout Charleston’s history. Men and women donned special attire to emulate the English fashion setters. Most women, at least in conservative circles, rode side-saddle, necessitating a rather unique skirt or overskirt. Women in the rugged American West dared to ride astride the horse, while Easterners continued side saddle until the 1920s.
Man’s riding suit, early 20th century. This brown suit with jodhpur pants and matching vest came from the Logan House at 32 Church Street. It was probably worn by the house’s owner, William Turner Logan (1874-1941). Logan, a practicing lawyer in Charleston, was a state representative from 1901-1904, and a Representative in Washington from 1921-1925. He married Louise Gibert Lesesne in 1909.
The jacket is labeled Abercrombie & Fitch Co. / New York. The firm was established by David Abercrombie in 1892 as a supplier of rugged, outdoor gear. Ezra Fitch became a partner in 1900, though tempers flared and Abercrombie resigned in 1907. Fitch continued to expand the store, trying innovative display and sales techniques and adding catalog sales. Around 1913, it became the first store in New York to supply sport clothing to women as well as men.
Gift of Anna Wells Rutledge in 1962
Both garments are on exhibit in Hunt & Habit now through April 21, 2013.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday