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VII. Alpenrosen and Goat's-Milk Henry van Dyke

Section II.

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The men of the Ampezzo Valley have kept but little that is peculiar in their dress. Men are naturally more progressive than women, and therefore less picturesque. The tide of fashion has swept them into the international monotony of coat and vest and trousers-- pretty much the same, and equally ugly, all over the world. Now and then you may see a short jacket with silver buttons, or a pair of knee-breeches; and almost all the youths wear a bunch of feathers or a tuft of chamois' hair in their soft green hats. But the women of the Ampezzo--strong, comely, with golden brown complexions, and often noble faces--are not ashamed to dress as their grandmothers did. They wear a little round black felt hat with rolled rim and two long ribbons hanging down at the back. Their hair is carefully braided and coiled, and stuck through and through with great silver pins. A black bodice, fastened with silver clasps, is covered in front with the ends of a brilliant silk kerchief, laid in many folds around the shoulders. The white shirt-sleeves are very full and fastened up above the elbow with coloured ribbon. If the weather is cool, the women wear a short black jacket, with satin yoke and high puffed sleeves. But, whatever the weather may be, they make no change in the large, full dark skirts, almost completely covered with immense silk aprons, by preference light blue. It is not a remarkably brilliant dress, compared with that which one may still see in some districts of Norway or Sweden, but upon the whole it suits the women of the Ampezzo wonderfully.

For my part, I think that when a woman has found a dress that becomes her, it is a waste of time to send to Paris for a fashion-plate.

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Little Rivers
Henry van Dyke

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