from The Essential Paradise

from Doc. 5.12.07

Private attire is an extremely casual standard of dress, popular within the culture of The British Paradise Islands. Edit

It is one of the original concepts of the setting, as devised for the Two Paradises fantasy/fiction realm by author Jonnie Comet in the 1970s.

Definition Edit

According to codified standards of dress and decorum– and upheld by courts of law– 'private attire' is the lowest category of dress, which constitutes less than ‘public’ attire and is suitable only for private parties and within doors. Private attire may include lingerie, swimming costume (whilst away from a public lido or recreation area) or lightweight, unlined cotton exercise gear. The law requires that, to be permissible in public (areas in which the actor may encounter the general public, including tourists and children), private attire must provide that the crutch area remains adequately covered and be not vulnerable to exposure due to environment, such as crowds, wind and rain, or reasonably-expected activity.

Examples Edit

Swimming costume tends to be a popular and acceptable form of casual attire in Paradise. Young men frequently wear small, competition-style bikini swimsuits; and many young women are given to wearing only the bottom of a two-piece swimsuit, not always including any other top. Many girls will often opt for exercise briefies, athletic bloomers or even underwear as well; and it is not at all rare to encounter a girl in mere knickers, briefly cut and lightly made of lightweight material, on the beach, in the street or even in shops.

Cultural response Edit

Private attire, though brief and likely assumed to be provocative by Western attitudes, is considered only innocent among teenagers in warm, tropical Paradise and it is not unusual for girls to dress in such a manner for the beach, the park, or other outdoor activities pursued away from crowds, especially when the attention tourists is unwanted. Often, careful selection of what little is worn can suggest not sensuality but elegance. Lady Susie and others have followed a standard of their own including adult makeup, heels, jewellry and even waist-jackets, worn with simple knickers and perhaps camisole, to mitigate or defy condemnations of appearing risqué or taboo.

Most tourists, especially males, and especially Americans, experience difficulty in accepting that the appearance of a young woman so scantily attired is not necessarily an incidence of flirtation or solicitation. Apparently the extraordinarily low age of majority in Paradise, whilst tending to accelerate academic and social maturity in teenagers, prompts some tourists to view young adolescents as irresistibly nubile in brief or revealing attire. Such is only a matter of course for Paradisians (who will typically hasten to defend a young resident whom they fear is being unfairly targeted by visitors). A common inference would be that a pubescent girl is too young (and too unworldly) to have considered any erotic contexts in her appearance; and thus it would be prurient for the opposite sex and especially older people to attribute any to her.

Many establishments, mainly eateries and those catering to tourists, will post requests of ‘proper’ or ‘public’ attire of patrons. A general rule seems to be that the more enclosed the establishment, the more covered the bodies of the patrons should be; this is universally accepted by Paradisians and few residents will attempt to defy such a rational rule of thumb.

Incidences in the stories Edit

Many if not all of the Comet-penned episodes within the Two Paradises realm will contain some mention of private attire, as 'gently-risque' fan service is a hallmark of both domains. Lady Susie is a well-known proponent of wearing 'as little as possible', typically slinky lingerie, to parties and other events. By degrees she encourages Jenny Talbot to take after her example. In 'Neat Knickers' (P1) Lady Susie is attending an after-school meeting with fellow students when someone spills chocolate milk on her clothes; she merely excuses herself for the toilets and returns in cotton knickers and a tied-up PE shirt, in which she sits through the rest of the afternoon and takes a public bus home. In Hands Off (P1) Susie, in a waist-jacket and knickers, encounters several lusty boys at a party, who are magnetised to her, and has to physically defend herself; but the episode makes clear that this is a rare and entirely unacceptable occurrence, as Lady Caroline, who dresses similarly to the same party but has no such trouble, chooses to associate with boys of another crowd.

Janine Hewlett, having developed in advance of the other Devon girls, recovers some confidence and becomes less inhibited after beginning to date Charlie Richardson, with whom she is frequently topless out of doors. In Janine, and the Perfect Day, she attends a market day at Coventry whilst dressed in only knickers and shoes, receiving some undue attention but also much admiration. In Beach Party she and Charlie attend a house party to which Janine, in only low-cut cotton knickers, must field questions and deflect attention from the other guests, all of whom are substantially older than she.

Gwendolyn Dahl meets Lord Jonathan on a beach whilst she wears only knickers; worse they are very low-cut and entirely damp from her having to swim ashore from her brothers' boat. Though he is only gallant towards her, he has nothing to offer her to put on and she must, so attired, hike the interior of the island with him before he can provide better for her. The two, once dating, visit the amusement park at Casino, amidst hundreds of tourists, whilst Gwendolyn is dressed in only plain white panties and sandals. She later wears a ballet leotard for an afternoon with Lord Jonathan in town.

In Amelia, A Vahine, Amelia Townsend typically travels to assignations in very brief, often see-through attire, most frequently in public buses; apparently Paradise Transport do not prohibit private attire. In The Lady Is A Tramp, she departs from the Baroness's house in only knickers; though she carries her clothes, she has not time to put on anything else before she hails a taxi and then does not bother for the ride home.

Private attire seems almost de rigueur for girls in the Strategy games, either as a comfortable mode of dress for intense physical activity or for its value as a tactical asset in distracting boys on opposing teams.

See also Edit

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