This garment is identified as a pelisse worn by a boy named James Somerville (1880s). We have no information on James. The garment is in the collection of the Cavalcade of History and Fashion. We are not entirely sure why this garment is described as a pelisse. The pelisse is a garment that is not well defined. We see quite a range of definitions. Examples are 'a long cloak or coat made of fur or lined or trimmed with fur'. We note fur is often associted wiyh a pelisse. This would makec sence as the pelise is often described as an outer garmen, either a coat or cloak. Another definitiion is a 'a woman's loose lightweight cloak with wide collar and fur trimming'. Many but not all definitions stress that it is a womnan's garment. One source describes pelisse as, 'any of a vaiety of long outer garments'. The garment here does not appear to us to be either long or a outergarment. It looks much more like a dress to us. Of course smaller versions, duch as this one here could be worn by girls and younger boys in the 19th century. The Museum tells us that, 'James Somerville’s pelisse of broidery anglaise from the early 1880s ... is an example of a male child’s dress which buttons up at the front.' This garment does not look like a cloak or coat at all to us, but rather like a dress. If it is an outer garment, it certain is a fancy one.
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