HSF #2 — Innovation – Raglan Sleeve

This post introduced some of the technological innovations that appear in Father Zantus’s turtleneck.  This post will explore Raglan Sleeves.

The most notable characteristic of Raglan sleeves, are that they attack to the neck of the shirt, rather than at the shoulder.  Shirts with Raglan sleeves have no shoulder seam, because the front and back pieces attach to the sleeve. (Oblig Wikipedia link).

The origin story of the raglan sleeve can be found here, among other places.  The super short version:  Lord Raglan lost his arm in the mid 1815s.  His tailor made him a custom coat with this new style of sleeve that would be easier for him to put on and take off.  I was half expecting to find references to earlier raglan sleeves, on the assumptions that, like Mathematical Theorems, sleeves are never named for their originator.  (Stigler’s law). I didn’t find any, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Almost-raglan spencer

Early 19th century spencer, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I did, however find some “so close, yet so far” examples.  These both come from the early 19th century, the same period where Raglan lost his arm.  This spencer (the tiny little jacket) and dress are have so little in the way of shoulders, that the sleeves attach to a couple of inches of fabric around the neckline.  They didn’t make that final step of eliminating the neck band altogether.

Almost raglan sleeve dress

Dress, 1810-1915, also from The Met.


That Hat — Part 2

In the first post about That Hat, I engaged in idle speculation of the origins of the hat, but that ends now that I have the adventure.

I got my copy of “The Half Dead City” today, and (of course) the first thing I did was flip to the magic items section to see what magical properties That Hat had. Alas, That Hat is not magical. It belongs to an NPC (a wizard) who has a stat block, and no magic hat listed.

Here is the Truly Important (read: Fashion Related) information from her bio:

[she] eschews court gowns in favor of a Taldan dandy’s idea of an adventurer’s outfit. (Half-Dead City, by Jim Groves. pg 59)

Nailed It! Hats Off (Ha!) to whoever designed her look, and to the artists who brought her to life in the AP. She looks fantastically impractically foppish.

The only way That Hat would be more epic, is if it was being worm by a flumph.

If I wanted to declare That Hat to be magical, here’s how I would re-fluff wizard spells to use That Hat. These came from the generic wizard spell list, so don’t take them as spoilers as to which spells she has.

  • Charm Person/Hypnotism/Sleep — The target is distracted and enthralled by That Hat. (Hmm…. I must have failed my saving throw). The undulating movement of the feather in an unseen wind commands the target’s attention.
  • Comprehend Languages — The end of feather on That Hat inserts itself in the caster’s ear, and whispers translations, like a Bablefish.
  • Disguise Self/Alter Self — That Hat wraps itself around the caster’s face and moulds itself into the desired disguise.
  • Eagle’s Splendor — That Hat reveals itself in its true glory, granting a CHA bonus to the wearer.
  • Endure Elements — That Hat is well insulated in the winter and it’s massive surface dissipates heat in the summer.
  • Erase — The feather sweeps away the target writing.
  • Floating Disk — That Hat can magically float carrying a load.
  • Hiedeous Laughter — The target it tickled by the That Hat’s feather.
  • Mount — Assuming the caster isn’t worried about looking magical, That Hat expands and functions like a flying carpet.
  • Obscure Object/Nondetection — Putting That Hat over an object blocks scrying.
  • Prestidigitation — When the wearer of That Hat casts prestigitation to clean, the feather extends (as if it’s not long enough) and acts like a feather duster. Perfect for exploring dusty, old Osirian tombs.
  • Shield/Mage Armour/Protection From Arrows — That Hat swoops down in front of the caster, blocking missiles and attacks.

That’s levels 1 and 2.  Any ideas for 3 and higher?

HSF #2 — Innovation – Knit Fabric

Last post introduced some of the technological innovations that appear in Father Zantus’s turtleneck.  Now I’m going to delve into one of them: knit fabric.

Chanel 1924

Chanel 1924

Knitted garments have existed for thousands of years. This article has a thorough history and analysis of the history of knitting.  She concludes that knitting began in Egypt around 1000 CE. (For comparison, fabric woven on looms dates at least to 5000 BCE) The earliest knitting was done with multiple needles to create tubes of stretchy fabric, for socks and gloves.  Knitted undershirts didn’t appear until the 1500s.  Until knitting machines came on the scene in the 1600s, knitting fabric was more time consuming than weaving it, and so was reserved for smaller items that required stretchy fabric and luxury goods.

Knit fabric only became common in the Victorian Era (as underwear) and not until the 1910s as clothing. It was scandalous when Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli popularized it for outerwear.

Father Zantus’s Turtleneck

Father ZantusHSF #2 — Innovation


This is the image that started this project. This is Father Zantus, the Cleric of Desna in Sandpoint, and an NPC in Rise of the Runelords. And he seems to be wearing a modern looking blue turtleneck sweater.  This lead me to the question:  What is the earliest this sweater could have existed on Earth, and assuming a quasi-medieval setting for Varisia.  I tried to make an adventure hook out of this fascinating fashion mystery, but my players refused to take the bait, and opted for goblin hunting instead.

Four technologies stand out in this turtleneck as possibly being anachronistic:

  1. Jersey Fabric
  2. Raglan Sleeve
  3. Turtleneck
  4. Bright Blue dye

I’ll explore each one in a post of its own.


That Hat

That Hat

“The Half-Dead City” Cover

The cover (by Tyler Jacobson) of the first book in The Mummy’s Mask AP was unveiled to gasps of “That Hat!”  And not just from me.  My hastily cropped and shrunk version can’t possibly do it justice, go look at the original.  It’s worth it.  Yes, the hat is fantastic, but everything else about her clothes are equally fantastic.

My initial reaction to this outfit was “Cavalier” (no, not Alain), but thinking harder, the influences are more varied than that, but all around the 17th century.  I was blinded by the feather and the turned down boots (and gloves). The shorter, fuller breeches look inspired by the earlier 17th century, as opposed to the later 17th century Cavalier inspiration of the overall look.

Cavalier Fashion

Portrait of Lord John Stuart and his brother Lord Bernard Stuart (Anthony van Dyck)

She would easily fit in with these two, if her pants covered her knees and her spats were actually boots. And she had more lace. (And no self-respecting Cavalier would be seen with pulled-back hair)

I’m really curious what the bottom of her jacket looks like.  I wish she wasn’t holding a book in front.  Is it squared off, like the tiny bolero she’s wearing?  Does it flounce into a semi bustle and cascade down her legs? Does it just angle back from the from opening into the tail we can see?  If this AP follows the patters of the previous ones, she’s a major character throughout the all 6 volumes.  So with any luck we’ll see more her in more art.

Researching this page I found a great side-by-side from A Chichi Life of the Dior 2009 Spring and works from the Dutch Masters.

All I can say about this look from that Dior collection is: “That Hat!”

Dior Hat

Christian Dior, Spring 2009 Couture (from style.com)

Image Sources:

Paizo’s Adventure Path page Tomb raiding in Osirion. A rival adventuring party. Great hats.  What’s not to love?

Wikipedia’s entry: Cavalier The historical context for the fashion inspiration.

Style.com’s page on Dior Spring 2009 Gorgeous extravagance.  Or extravagant gorgeousness.

Thinking Too Hard

This is where I think way too hard about Golarion fashion.

Golarion is the default setting for the Pathfinder RPG.  I currently DM a semi regular game (Rise of the Runelords) and annoy my players with overly detailed descriptions of the clothes in the adventure.

The starting point is Dreamstress’s The Historical Sew Fortnightly.  She challenges and encourages her readers to research a topic in historical fashion, blog about it, and sew it.  I plan to unofficially follow along (since Golarion isn’t exactly “historical”) by researching the historical and geographical parallels to Golarion.  Unfortunately,  my sewing time is spoken for, so I won’t be doing as much of that as I’d like.  I’ll also write on other random Galarion-Fashion related topics.