Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

"Your stick should be of plain Malacca or other wood, with either a crooked or straight handle. The only ornamentation allowable is a plain silver or gold band, or top; but perfectly plain is best form." -- Emily Post, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home (1922), Chapter 34, "The Clothes of a Gentleman."

"Alfonse" holds the sticks.
Of the lady's walking stick Miss Post was silent, for, as it so many matters of dress, ladies are free to accessorize at will. The gentleman's wardrobe choices are few and defined. Speaking of definition, "Malacca," according to means "made or consisting of the cane of an Asian rattan palm (Calamus rotang)." It is from the common use of cane for men's sticks that "cane" has come to signify a walking stick of whatever construction. However, careful speakers always distinguish between "cane" and the more general term "stick."

Ebay is a good source for vintage sticks, which being fashion accessories were frequently non-weight-bearing. If you need assistance with mobility or stability you should seek out a weigh-bearing stick made to the correct length for your height. I have found the business to be an excellent and affordable source. They have a large variety of shafts and handles. Their sticks are rated for the maximum weight they can safely bear. And, their website has instructions on how to determine the correct length of stick for you. This is extremely important as a stick that is too short or too long may actually aggravate the medical condition that indicated use of a stick.

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