Rhett Butler had brought her a yellow shawl from Havana several months before, a shawl gaudily embroidered with birds and flowers in magenta and blue.
Many prostitutes had flocked into Atlanta, following the soldiers, but Belle stood out above the rest, due to her flaming hair and the gaudy, overly fashionable dresses she wore.
They were gaudy but they were new and fashionable and certainly they caught the eye.
There was one gaudy splash of color among the uniforms that put the girls’ bright finery to shame and stood out in the crowd like a tropical bird—a Louisiana Zouave, with baggy blue and white striped pants, cream gaiters and tight little red jacket, a dark, grinning little monkey of a man, with his arm in a black silk sling.
The shiny carriages of Yankee officers’ wives and newly rich Carpetbaggers splashed mud on the dilapidated buggies of the townspeople, and gaudy new homes of wealthy strangers crowded in among the sedate dwellings of older citizens.
She loved gaudy and expensive jewelry but she had an uneasy feeling that everyone was saying, with perfect truth, that this ring was vulgar.