The British fighting man in his uniform of British worsted has seldom ever been bested. A quick look at the Webster shows that the verb “to best” means exactly the same thing as “to worst” does - to gain advantage over, to outmatch. By the same token “Bested” equals “Worsted”. Which brings us to the point of the story:
English Uniforms, cut accordingly to tradition (and from fine bolts of worsted), cut a mighty splendid figure. Both models of soldiery style and war-like practicality, their record is a proud one. Behind them is a habit of looking well in battle that goes back to the year 1066 and William the Conqueror.
No one knows any too clearly what the Normans wore when they fought the Saxons, but the East Anglian town of Worstead bears its name because of the Norman victory here. Its fame for manufacture of cloth named for like the battle has worn like worsted itself, long into peacetime, long after the center of the British worsted industry moved to the fresh, water-running West Riding of Yorkshire.
Worsted is staunch as any of the varieties of British wool cloths: strong and adaptable. Handsome and accommodating, too, ladies - if you’re following this discussion - with reference to either four yards of superfine dress length or to the Changing of the Guard.
GENTRY N.1 FALL 1951, p. 34