In modern Russian, the expression "muslin young lady" is little used. But nevertheless, they are sometimes still used to ironically designate narrow-minded, but romantic and sentimental girls of patriarchal upbringing.
Here is the definition for this phrase can be found in Ushakov's dictionary: "A young lady or a girl is a cutesy girl with a limited outlook who has received a patriarchal upbringing."
Almost for the first time in literature, the expression "muslin girl appeared in Pomyalovsky's story" Bourgeois Happiness "(1861):" A muslin girl! ... it's a pity to look at such girls - an amazing, pitiful emptiness! ... - perhaps they read Pushkin; sing: "I loved all the flowers more than a rose" yes "The gray dove groans"; they always dream, they always play ... Light, lively girls, they love to be sentimental, deliberately lisp, laugh and eat goodies ... And how many of these poor, muslin creatures we have! "
And how much is the young lady muslin? Quite simply, muslin is an expensive fabric in the 19th century, from which beautiful dresses were sewn and windows were decorated in rich houses. In a word, in the minds of people of that time, a muslin young lady is not adapted for any kind of work, she has no other business but to sit behind a muslin curtain by the window or walk in a muslin dress.
In a word, in the minds of people of the 19th century, a muslin young lady has no other business than sitting behind a muslin curtain by the window or walking in a muslin dress. These women have developed only one ability, which nature itself takes care of - namely, the ability to love. The whole fate of such a woman is decided unconditionally by those whom she will love. "
Thus, the expression "muslin young lady", launched among the people a hundred and fifty years ago, has become entrenched in intellectual speech as a caustic and ironic characteristic of the female type, nurtured by the old noble culture.