Wonderful post, John, and a good source of education for those who always thought the cassock was regular dress for the clergy. Many do not know that the ordinary dress for clergy in Rome and the rest of Italy was the "abito-corto": a knee-length black wool frock with knee breeches, buckled shoes, and a short ferraiolo. This was the appropriate dress even for cardinal’s private audiences with the Pope, while in public audience they would wear choir dress.Before the late 19th century, priests wore the abito-corto as their proper dress outside of the liturgy; the cassock was reserved for the sacred liturgy and ceremonial occasions. This dress was so much the norm that, when Pius IX sought to replace it with the cassock as regular dress, there was resistance by those who did not see as right the wearing of liturgical dress for public life!
And some complain about Pope Francis! This pope looks ridiculous on the horse.