The one thing that people have to realize about reenacting or doing living history as a soldat of the 2 Chevauleger is that for most of us, we were civilians before the war and, hopefully, would be so once the war had ended. In order for us to present a more balanced and complete impression, it is important to keep this fact in mind and towards this end, I’m going to try and present some non-military posts covering civilian life with emphasis, of course, on Bavaria.
To start things off, below is a picture that was taken before the war, probably sometime from about 1910 through 1914 of a young man and his girlfriend at a horse racing track. Attending horse races was a social activity and as such, called for people to dress in their best clothes. In contrast to today, society tended to be a lot more formal even when people were spending leisure time. And, believe it or not, not everyone in German wore a uniform all the time. For the gentlemen below, odds are that he’s already completed his military service obligation and if he’s of the right class and has some money, he’s probably a reserve officer (which was a major mark of social status in Wilhelmine Germany).
The gentleman in the above picture is wearing a version of a morning coat which was considered to be somewhat more formal than a standard suit (what we might think of as a business suit).