Jean Lafitte’s Underwear and Other Sartorial Issues

Thanks to Liz for the idea for this blog, for sending me some photos of horrific hoop skirts and crinolines women used to have to wear. I was casting around for a blog idea and it made me think about Jean and DJ. Now, in BELLE CHASSE, that mythical book that really does exist somewhere out in publisher land, DJ spends more than half the book at Jean Lafitte’s house in Barataria or his secret bachelor pad in Old Orleans (those of you who read JACKSON SQUARE know of that one!).

The Elders are watching her house and they’re watching Alex, so she has no choice but to allow Jean and Rene to pick out her wardrobe for much of the book. Poor woman. I won’t reveal what Rene picked out for her because it’s one of my favorite parts of the book and I start laughing at the thought of it, but I thought I should share a bit of research into what Jean would provide for her–and what the pirate himself might be wearing.

First, let’s look at what DJ will NOT wear, because Jean tried to get them on her back in ELYSIAN FIELDS. There’s the infamous crotchless pantaloons, which he insisted were most practical and worn by the finest women but  DJ would have nothing to do with them:

dj underpants

She also refuses to wear this after the humiliation of having put it on backward in ELYSIAN FIELDS, plus it’s uncomfortable, she says, and I have no reason to doubt her.

dj chemise

She isn’t going out for fancy dinners, things being in their usual chaotic state, so Jean picked out a “day dress” for her that she groused was stiff and uncomfortable and, because she refused to wear the above garment, made her look more pregnant than Eugenie. Any woman larger than a twig who has worn an empire dress can sympathize. This one has more of a waist than hers, but it’s similar. She loathes it. Jean finds it quite pleasing, especially once he realizes the pantalets are missing.

day dress dj

And what would our pirate be wearing? I always have him in a white tunic and black pants and boots, much like this early 18th-century gentleman’s outfit minus the coat (except for special occasions):


This is said to be more common for a well-dressed pirate of the early 19th century:


There are no existing photographs of Monsieur Lafitte, but in a couple of illustrations claimed to be from his era, he is wearing a very similar outfit. I seriously doubt he had skull and crossbones on the top of his boots, as he never ever ever ever admitted to being a pirate.

Ah, but what would our fair gentleman be wearing beneath those trousers? Apparently, something sexy like this:

jean's underwear

Hm…I dunno….

And if Jean and DJ were to go on a dinner date (although the last one didn’t turn out too well, having been interrupted by an elf), they might dress like this:

jean and dj on a date

So, what do you think? DJ and I think women got the short end of the proverbial stick in the fashion department and she’s probably going to have to rely on Rene for most of her wardrobe choices in BELLE CHASSE, God help her.

What do you think the merman would pick out for her?

14 thoughts on “Jean Lafitte’s Underwear and Other Sartorial Issues

  1. Jean Lafitte’s underwear – now there is something I never thought about……… I think Rene will do good by DJ, we will wait and see.

  2. I agree with DJ that women had uncomfortable fashions. I think Rene got something sexy for DJ just to aggregate her.

  3. sure that rene will get something to infuriate her but he could also have picked a second outfit more ” reasonnable” for her once she calmed down. he liked to have fun but still is a true friend ( with taste)
    really was there a time when fashion was in favour for women? for example now we have more choice yes but size? it’s a horror either you have to pay more or simply it doesn’t exist when you are average sized ( look at all those skinny thinking they still need to loose weight)…at least Jean prefer real women^^

    • Well, let’s just say it was three days before Christmas, the malls were crowded, and Rene does not like to shop. LOL. I remember watching an episode of “America’s Next Top Model,” and there was much to-do about there being a “plus-sized” model on there competing. She was a size 10 and none of the designers had anything to fit someone so “large.” No wonder girls grow up with such body issues!

  4. I think Rene will select something much too revealing and tight, but he will mean well. I don’t think Rene would pick something with the intent of pushing DJ’s button unlike Jean. DJ will just have to send Rene with a few catalog pages!!

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