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1813 fashion plate showing a 'Witz-chouras' with sleeves, fur lining and hood.

A witzchoura (sometimes witz-chouras) was a type of mantle, pelisse, or sleeved cloak, with a large collar and, sometimes, a hood,[1] that was particularly fashionable in the early 19th century.[1] The term derives from the Polish word wilczura, meaning 'wolf fur coat'.[2] It was inspired by Polish styles, hence sometimes being described as a la Polonaise,[3] although it is not the same as the gown called a polonaise. Like the original hussar's pelisse, it was typically lined with fur.

The witzchoura is said to have emerged about 1808, soon after Napoleon met with his Polish mistress, Marie Walewska,[1] and was worn throughout the first half of the 19th century. Versions of the witzchoura were still being worn for travelling in 1849.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Joannis, Claudette (2007). L'élégance sous l'Empire : Joséphine à Malmaison : Musée national des châteaux de Bois-Préau et Malmaison. Paris: Réunion des Musées nationaux. ISBN 9782711851232.
  2. ^ "wilczura". sjp.pwn.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  3. ^ "Cabinet of Taste: Costume of Paris". La Belle Assemblée: Or, Court and Fashionable Magazine; Containing Interesting and Original Literature, and Records of the Beau-monde. J. Bell. January 1827. A woman of fashion well wrapped up in a Witzchoura pelisse, with sleeves á la Polonaise, ought to wear black velvet boots...
  4. ^ Cunnington, C. Willett (1990). English women's clothing in the nineteenth century. New York: Dover Publications. p. 154. ISBN 9780486319636.