Over the weekend, I was engrossed in a murder mystery set in medieval Cambridge. The suspense centered on men who were sneaking around after dark doing nefarious deeds. They masked their identity with their hat, which went by the name of a liripipe. The author never gave a particularly cogent description of this item, so I looked it up in the Encyclopedia of Clothing and Dress. I learned that a liripipe was a 14th century headdress of an eccentric nature—and an important object of masculine fashion. Worn over a gorget, a form of hood and neckpiece, the liripipe was composed of soft tubes of cloth, up to two feet in length, with drooping points. They could be suspended, worn over the shoulder, or wound round the gorget like a turban. Fashionable men went to great lengths to twist the liripipe like a scarf, and drape it in dashing modes. Villains, on the other hand, as my book demonstrated, used it as a means of concealment.
Speaking of concealment (or not), there was a local television story last week about pork barrel monies in the finally-passed New York State budget. $5000 was approved for a group called Men of Exquisite Taste. Anybody know anything about this intriguing organization?