The New York Tribune

1906: December 8

He Discourses on Clothes and Copyright at the Capital.

Washington, Dec. 7--Mark Twain visited the press gallery of the House of Representatives this afternoon and delivered a homily on the subject of clothes to the Washington correspondents. The author was dressed in a summer suit of white flannels, and when surprise was expressed that he should show such disdain for the December air, he said: "There is absolutely no comfortable and delightful and pleasant costume but the human skin. That, however, is impossible. But when you are seventy-one years old you may at least be pardoned for dressing as you please.

"For instance I like the colors of the costumes that women wear. They are lively and not so depressing as the dark suits of men. At the opera house in the evening when I look around at the men in their black evening clothes I am disagreeably impressed with the fact that they are no more cheerful and no more pleasant to look at than a lot of crows. Man's dress of the present day is absurdly awkward and ungraceful. I am in favor of going back to the splendors in dress of the Middle Ages. Those were the days when a man could wear bright raiment that was a pleasure to the eye. The Chinaman wears comfortable and bright looking clothes, but I am not prepared to say I would favor that kind of dress altogether, though they certainly have an advantage in the kind of shoes they wear.

"And yet there as been a decided change in the style of man's dress in recent years. Why, twenty-five years ago I remember when a man was not considered dressed unless he wore a high hat, and now--well, I know I wouldn't wear one of them myself."

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