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I don't understand the exclamatory sentence here

As shown in late-19th-century photographs, the entire school at Saumur—lieutenants, second lieutenants, and horsemen, black jackets and blue jackets (never pale enough for the men of the light-horse!), training horses, race horses and cavalry horses—whipped itself into a murderous frenzy while participating in notoriously difficult trials. It took a total of seventy-seven falls to make a cavalryman. Some Sundays at Verrie more spills were registered than starts. No one at the finish! Crazy officers. But what charm! What elegance! With their foulard caps, slender waists (corseted, some said), perfectly fitted jackets, and collars that could never be too high, men indisputably had the advantage in that fin-de-siécle era. Meanwhile women—with their overload of ornament— looked like haystacks.]

I don't understand "what is charm and what is elegance?" the ladies,or the "fell off of the horse"

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I see, it's the ladies

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Actually, it was the men, not the women, who had charm and elegance during this end-of-the-century era.

    Note the sentence from the text: "men indisputably had the advantage ... meanwhile women ... looked like haystacks."

    And it was men who wore foulard caps, fitted jackets, and collars that could never be too high ... not women, who, with their overload of ornaments, looked like a bunch of straw thrown together ("haystacks").

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