Thursday, September 08, 2005

Clothing Distinction

From "Secrets of Distinctive Dress", written by Mary Brooks Picken in 1918

"There is a wealth of beauty in fabrics and they offer an excellent opportunity to express individuality and good taste in dres for the house, where so many people seem to think "it does not matter what you wear, so long as you are home." The simplest materials, such as the inexpensive cottons--voile, crepe, chintz, and zephyr gingham--lend themselves delightfully to home dresses.

I know a woman whose first-floor rooms are very artistically furnished in blue and gray, whose boudoir is in rose and ivory, and whose sewing room--"her workshop" she calls it--is in softest gray. This woman, with this attractive, agreeable home, finds it necessary to do a great deal of the work of keeping it up herself.

In the morning, she will come down with a little dress of unbleached, unstarched, smoothly ironed muslin. It may have a little cross-stitching of blue or a little soft lace collar, but it is so simple that it does not interfere with the surroundings, and no matter whether she is in the living room, in the dining room, or in the kitchen, she makes a pleasing picture.

In the afternoon, she may bein a little rose-colored or cream dress of soft voile, or it may be white, or it may be a light pink; but it is of a color sufficiently indefinite and of fabric soft enough not to conflict with the tints and shades and soft drapery effects in her rooms.

Comments: Homemakers today lead such full, busy lives, they barely have time to stop and think about what they are wearing throughout the day. To make things easier, I have an idea of wearing a basic and plain muslin A-line dress, or skirt-blouse combination-- or any non-iron, loosely flowing garment that does not cling or pinch, making movement easier in the myriad of tasks that must be done. At home, cover it in a colorful jumper-style apron that reflects your own likes and tastes. When going out in public, remove the apron and add a cardigan jacket that makes it look a little more formal or business-like. Later at home, when receiving visitors or relaxing in the evening, pull over a soft sweater, or exchange the skirt for one that is less practical and maybe more silky.

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