Seventeenth century artist Stefano della Bella drew this man in a plumed hat. It would be marvelous to see men in such hats now, a change from the common baseball hat we see everywhere. (Isn't "della Bella" the perfect name!)
Here in Boston, in the 18th century, well-to-do men wore scarlet cloaks woven from fine wool dyed from cochineal made from the shells of an insect that feeds on cactus. On Sunday we saw two scarlet cloaks on display at the Concord Museum. Now in Boston men wear drab colors: gray, dark green, brown. (I first came across the word "cochineal" in a poem by Emily Dickinson, in which she describes the arrival of a hummingbird: 'a revolving wheel of cochineal.')
Gathering insects for making cochineal.
Men wearing flamboyant clothes would probably not improve society but would make for a lively scene, a scene on the street and subway. First we have to get people out of their cars. Men, put on your scarlet cloaks and plumed hats and strut!