While researching for another project, I came across this article in an 1896 issue of the National Magazine about vested choirs, which is now a well-established tradition on both sides of the Anglican/Episcopal world.
It’s hard to conceive of now, but even in Episcopal churches vested choirs were controversial. However, fashion changed, and this article documents some of that change. I know that growing up at Bethesda-by-the-Sea we as a youth choir were vested–and had the neck burns from the ruffled collars which had way too much starch! But since we were paid, we had little cause to complain.
But we did anyway…
A photograph from the article: