Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes

"On our next visit to the studio, a very warm morning, we had walked from our apartment. Edith had on a starched white piqué skirt, and a light shirt-waist under her blue serge, tailor-made jacket. As she came into the studio, full of energy, and her cheeks aglow from the brisk walk, Sargent exclaimed at once, 'I want to paint you just as you are.' We thought it wise to submit to his whim, although we had, even then, some apprehension lest our friends at home, and especially Mr. Scrimser, might not altogether approve."

Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes, 1897. John Singer Sargent. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Stokes explaining how the somewhat "non-traditional" outfit in one of my favorite paintings came to be. They had tried with a more obvious and formal blue satin evening gown, but Sargent wasn't pleased. Thank goodness!

Very exciting to see a contemporary outfit description along with a visual interpretation, albeit not from the woman herself, but her husband. But not the twenty-first-century author of this book I'm reading either.

Stokes, I.N.P. Random Recollections of a Happy Life (barf). New York, 1941 (1923).