Berlin Etiquette, c.1932

"It was still very early, about nine o'clock, when I arrived at the Troika. The place was much larger and grander than I had expected. A commissionaire braided like an archduke regarded my hatless head with suspicion until I spoke to him in English. A smart cloak-room girl insisted on taking my overcoat, which hides the worst stains on my baggy flannel trousers. A page-boy, seated on the counter, didn't rise to open the inner door. Bobby, to my relief, was at his place behind a blue and silver bar. I made towards him as towards an old friend." (21)


"I was quite delighted when Bernhard unexpectedly rang me up.
'You remember a certain little country cottage on the shores of the Wansee? You do? I was wondering if you would care to spend a few hours there, this afternoon...Yes, your landlady has told me already about your misfortune. I am so sorry...I can send the car for you. I think it will be good to escape for a little from this city? You can do whatever you like there--just lie quiet and rest. Nobody will interfere with your liberty.'
Soon after lunch, the car duly arrived to pick me up. It was a glorious afternoon, and, during the drive, I blessed Bernhard for his kindness. But when we arrived at the villa, I got a nasty shock: the lawn was crowded with people.
I was really annoyed. It was a dirty trick, I thought. Here was I, in my oldest clothes, with a bandaged foot and a stick, lured into the middle of a slap-up garden-party! And here was Bernhard in flannel trousers and a boyish jumper. It was astonishing how young he looked. Bounding to meet me, he vaulted over the low railing:
'Christopher! Here you are at last! Make yourself comfortable.'
In spite of my protests, he forcibly removed my coat and hat. As ill-luck would have it, I was wearing braces. Most of the other guests were in smart Rivieria flannels. Smiling sourly, adopting instinctively the armour of sulky eccentricity which protects me on such occasions, I advanced hobbling into their midst." (174-5)

From "A Berlin Diary" and "The Landauers", respectively. In Goodbye to Berlin, Isherwood, 1939.

Everyone wants to take his coat! These are two excellent examples of clothing practice, Berlin in the early 1930s. So much anxiety.