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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, May 08, 1910, Image 13

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The San Francisco Sunday Call
Katherine Atkinson
PREPARE to be shocked, especially
you of the traditional, the medieval
spirit, who decline even to think of
a woman unless she be surrounded
by a lot of fluffs and frills, because —
yes, really, because my lady has donned
breeches! There! I'm afraid I have
blurted it out, after all. No, this Is not
a story that concerns Miss Eleanor
Soars of Boston in any way. Goodness
knows San Francisco doesn't need to
go to Boston for examples. She has a
few shining lights of her own. It is to
the fair maids and matrons of our own
\u25a0 mart set, including, o^ course, Burlin
grame and San Mateo, and," for that mat
ter, women in general that I refer.
It isn't in the metaphorical sense of
usurping: masculine authority that is
generally spoken of as wearing the — er
— trousers that I speak, either. The
ladies to whom I refer would scorn,
yes, scorn, to usurp any man's author
ity or — or — well, or anything belonging
to him. They have, nevertheless, put
on breeches! Their own smart, natty
little riding breeches. Sol th« secret's
out! And Just between you and me, lfs
been out for some time.
In all seriousness cross saddle riding
among women has arrive'J. It Is here
to stay. too. And with It has come
gradually, of course, as was natural,
. the acceptance and general adoption
of the much discussed "breeches" rid
ing costume.
The divided eklrt— that affliction to
the eye, with- its weight of useless
material cumbering the body— haa
slowly but surely given place to the
more becoming and much more sen
sible breeches.
And really, when the matter is sifted
down, there Is. nothing to It. Because
with boots that reach to the knee and
long coat that falls on either side of
the wearer down to the boots, partly
covering them, the breeches are cn T
tirely hidden from view, unless per
chance the fair rider during her canter
through the park should lneet one of
those searching sea breezes that oc
casionally blow. In which case It does
not take any great stretch of the Im
agination to picture what would hap
pen to those 'demurely precise coat
tails of hers, does It? Naughty,
naughty little breeze!
The breeches habit is made up in
broadcloth, tweed or cheviot, khaki
cloth and linen. The linen suits are
much worn in Burlingame and : San
Mateo, where «they are 'preferred to the
heavier suits. Some of the ladles fre
quently seen In the new costume are
Miss Jennie Crocker, Miss Genevieve
Harvey, Miss Helen Chesebrough, Mrs.
Eugene Murphy, Mrs. Andrew Welch,
Mrs. J. -V. do Laveapa. Miss Marian
Lally, Miss , Phyllis \de Young, Miss
Enid Gregg, Miss Elyse Shultz, Mrs/ J.
J. Moor*, Mrs, Edgar' Pelxotto and the
Misses Cunningham.
To Miss Helen Chesebrough, the well
known and enthusiastic) horsewoman,
must be given tho credit for having had
the courage to pioneer the movement on
this coast She it was who, intro
duced riding breeches here. And when
she. is in the seclusion • of her. father's
country place. Miss Chesebrough dis
cards her coat and rides In the un
trammeled ease of. shirtwaist and
Miss Marian Lally, whose picture
graces this .page, is a golden haired
beauty with the courage of.; her 'con-;
victions. When I, armed with my
camera, overtook Miss Lally the other
day in the park and -asked her if she
wouldn't please stop a moment and let
me snapshot her, she replied. in a de
lightfully frank, unaffected way:
"Why, I don't believe I'd mind at all.
I happen to have on a new. habit'; to
day," and she laughed merrily.
The costume she- wore was of light
brown, flecked with gray, a A rough
Milady in Breeches
The New Riding Costume
tweed, and her hat was of yellow straw.
' I was dying to askher to take it off,
I did so want a picture that showed her
hair. It's siich r a lovely, warm' shade
of 'yellow. She. 'was doing me such .a
favor to pose at all, though, that I
hadn't the heart to ask it of her.
"How long hay© you been a convert
to. the new costume, Miss. Lally?"
"New ! Why, it isn't^ so very new;' is:
,jt? ! For; two years, now, we've been
wearing them." • v
1 "Only, comparatively < new." .
"Oh, yes, compared with the ages and
ages that .women '-< have ; ridden perched
.upon a;eidesaddle/; It's such a, relief,'
too. -So much safer.: Why, I; wouldn't
go back; to ' the old. way for 'anything. :
• And "then besides ; It's ' the >; fashion and
one, must be in the fashion, you know,"
. and; ; with a nierry = laugh she can
: tered" on. - _"\u25a0. : ' '\u25a0'-. yy] ;• '\u25a0'•.' ->\u25a0' \u25a0 -/" . •\u25a0\u25a0
I was wishing she had stayed a little:
\u25a0 longer.- I wanted -her to 'talk more to
-me about it. ; Then I happened to think '<
of that thorough// all round" sports
woman, Mrs. Goodman Loewenthal/ who
has/Just returned from New York. She
would be. sure , : to ; havej the very/ latest
thing in riding; togs 'and; the New. York'
! ). viewpoint Jon\the"t breeches'; habit;-* -and '
*". that. was/what" 1' wanted.' .- : - :,-.\u25a0 . .-
She was at home and received me
cordially. -
"Have ' the . horsewomen of New York
adopted the fereeebes habit, Mr*. Loew
•nthair' >
"I should «*y • tb«y have. When X
went back I took a divided skirt with
m; but • after riding Just once in Cen- 1
tral park X went right straight to the
tailor's and ordered a breeches habit."
"May > I see yours ?"
"Yes, -indeed, you may." And she
\u25a07 brought out her trousers and coat.
;; : Her ' habit "is of ( black broadcloth,
made, so" far as I could tell, like the
'"ones I had seen here.
'"The breeches look Just like an army
" officer's,"' said, l. " :
."They are; like, it. They were copied
from them. "You see, they button snug- 5
. ly from the knee. down, inside the boot.
From the knee .'. to the waist they i are
loose, but /shapely. ,
'.-.:/. "Weren't you .glad, Mrs. Loewenthal,
to discard the divided skirt for these?"
."Yes, the divided 1 skirt is, clumsy,
' neither one thing. nor the other. There's ;
:\u25a0 somei style to, these;^they're nifty /look-/
• 3. in g.'V *\u25a0,;-'' -;^ :: - ; : *\u25a0/ /\u25a0, < .''\u25a0'. '\u25a0\u25a0':.
'/.Her coat looked: Just like an' ordinary,
tight fitting long tailored: coat, 4 and I
:-sald;so/:"'\\ : \/-y ;"_ \u0084\u25a0/\u25a0\u25a0.-\u25a0.\u25a0-:... "./-,\u25a0\u25a0 '/'.,\u25a0
\u25ba ' ."Welli •; not;- quite,'" said Mrs. Loew-,^
anthal. 4 -; "Youjsee -the skirt "'part is
fuller than an ordinary coat. It ; fallal;
in ripples from the hips. down, j When
I have It on it hangs in folds just as
a circular , skirt would. When I'm not
in the saddle I button It together \u25a0 in
the back— see— rlike this." and she
sliowed me the button and buttonhole
about six inches below the waist ' line
buttoning: the backs together.
"My hat? Oh, Just a straight rimmed
derby. This and the derby in straw
are worn mostly in New York.
"I'll show you my boots," and she
went to the closet and brought them
out. Stilish looking tall. boots of black
pigskin, fitting snugly the feet and
ankle with loose tops reaching to the
knee. Her spurs were small silver af
fairs that screwed into the back of her
boot heel. \u25a0 *
"I wear/a tailored waist and stock
with my- habit, though the really cor
rect; neckwear is high collar and
white, cravat. \u25a0 >/. .;:.. * .
-"The breeches were worn by the
women -who rode at the .horse; show
last "winter. ' That .means a sort of
official, recognition, you' know, and the
seal of fashion besides, and that's what
really counts.' -.'.
- ; \u25a0 "6h^ : yes ; they, have been much more
generally adopted in New York -than
out; here. We : in San Francisco, are
slower .to : accept anything, don't you
think so?" and she. smiled. I caught
myself .watching; for 1 her r smile -after
tHat— fshe had such pretty, teeth. "San
Francisco forms its own Judgment. For
instance,' in 'the. matter of dress: If one
wears even a Dutch neck Into a cafs
here people vill turn and look, while In
New York you may' wear a decollete
gown without attracting the slightest
'It Is difficult to imagine Mrs. Loew
enthal going anywhere In any kind of a
dress without attracting attention, ad
miring, attention. She is a perfect
Juno of a woman, of the Nance O'Neil
type. . tall, fair and exquisitely pro
portioned, with the poise that tells of
trained muscles, of the out of door life,
for she is a crack rifle shot as well as
an accomplished horsewoman. I had
called in the morning and, she wore a
simple cotton frock with a round Dutch
neck, but every line, every curve was
Just to show how general the fashion
has .become. .. take, for Instance, the
stores where they sell the ready made
habits. At one they have two rooms
given up to riding togs for women.
For those who wish to be fitted cross
saddle there is a beautiful dummy horse
fixed a up with the latest cross saddle,
wh|le for the women who ride side
saddle they have simply a sort of
clothes rack with a side saddle perched
/upon. It. There is. little use for the
latter. - -
, "Did you know that in some places
in. the east the humane society' has
prohibited the riding -.schools and
stables renting side saddles any
more? Take a woman as large as I
am and .think of putting her on one
side of a horse with the weight all on
two of his legs. It's cruelty.*
"Where did cross saddle ridinar for
women originate. Mrs. Loewenthal?"
"We get it from England. I think
the American women are premier in
the matter of dress, but when it come*
to sport the English women are fore
most, don't you think so?"
Yes, I thought so. When she smiled
at me like that I would have thought
almost anything.
"For cross country riding In Eng
land the cross saddle has been used
quite a number of years, but only in
the last three or four has It come Into
general popularity. And out here Vat
la*st six months has made lota of dif
ference. It has been much more gen
erally adopted than before I went
away. I was in New York all last win
ter, you know.
"Last night at a riding academy
there -were 20 women on .the floor.
learning to ride, and how many do
you think rode side saddle?"
"How many?" I asked.
"Just one."
[ It had seemed to me, as I. sat there
listening to her, that she had ab
sorbed something of the freedom and
breezlness of the out of doors; that her
mind as well as her body was well
poised. She was so wholesome, so
honestly independent that it had been
a pleasure to talk to her. If I had
any remaining spark of sentiment for
the old. the petticoat habit when I met
her. it has gone. She "won me com
pletely. I. : too, am a convert Let's
all be. ."„ Let's really b* as sensible, lib
eral minded and cosmopolitan as we
have always thought we wera.

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