One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A man's three-cornered flat silk hat, typically carried under the arm.
- ‘Formal evening dress was essential: the ladies in their most beautiful gowns and jewels and the men in long tail-coats, white cravats, knee-breeches and stockings, and carrying a chapeau-bras.’
- ‘He was ‘arrayed in a green coat, with all his stars, orders, and ribbons-silk stockings, small shoes with gold buckles, and a chapeau-bras under his arm.’’
- ‘A crescent-shaped chapeau-bras, known as an opera-hat, developed in the 1760s - 70s from the three-cornered hat.’
- ‘The plume was designed to lie along the crown of the chapeau-bras.’
- ‘The Prince of Wales, dressed in a magnificent court suit of salmon-coloured velvet richly embroidered with gold, entered with Marguerite Blakeney on his arm; and on his left Sir Percy, in gorgeous shimmering cream satin, cut in the extravagant ‘Incroyable’ style, his fair hair free from powder, priceless lace at his neck and wrists, and the flat chapeau-bras under his arm.’
French, from chapeau ‘hat’ and bras ‘arm’.
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