Thursday, September 08, 2005


From a book by Mary Brooks Picken in 1924 titled "Harmony In Dress"


12. Giving Pleasure Through Costume -- Costumes have, like all successful things, a direct purpose. They are created to contribute to the charm of the wearer and to the grace of the occaison. A woman may consider herself fortunate, indeed, who can select her wardrobe so carefuly as to have a correct and becoming frock appropriate for each occasion.

Frocks should please one's friends as well as oneself, and the woman who wishes to express good taste in dress should vary her costumeas as much as her purse and good judgment will allow in order to avoid any possible sense of monotony.

13. Interest After Marriage. -- Then, when the day of days arrives for a girl and the trousseau is to be selected, only the best and most becoming garments are to be considered for this great event. However, whether the incentive to keep herself attractive will remain with this girl-woman depends largely on her character, or position in life, or both.

If she is a woman of the true-mother type, she will feel that it is not enough to win the admiration and respect of her mate. She must retain her spiritul and physical attractiveness in order to keep herself young in the eyes of the one she most desires to please. It is not enough to win if she lacks the desire or the power to hold what she has gained.

14. How can a woman hope to keep the joyful respect and admiration of her loved one if she allows herself to degenerate into frowsiness, to wear curl papers, caps, and mussy negligees all day long? Really, this condiion is not a stimulus to happiness. To come home day after day and find an untidy, unattractive woman, so entirely concered with the cares and burdens of the day that she has lost all sight of the need for keeping herself attractive, shoud not have to be the lot of the husband who has, perhaps, already had his share of a day's unpleasantness.

A prominent club woman, in speaking of her efforts to convince wives and mothers of the great necessity for keeping themselves attractive, gave many pertinent illustrations. She said that the broad-minded women in the group were deeply appreciative of the awakening it gave them; but other women resented it and decried the power of beauty and attractiveness, insisting that their husbands were just as devoted to them as ever and that they had no time nor money to spend in making themelves butterflies.

15. Means of Retaining Interest. -- The question pften arises as to why we lose this vision and sense of the true value of things. Why have we ceased to value rightly the great power and influence over others that lies in a pleasing appearance and a charming manner? Throughout all ages of human activity, we know that interest has preceded success; no matter how insignificant the task of the thing, we must think about it, plan for it, and some people say, actually "love it into being." We must be interested in being attractive to know all the virtues of attractiveness.

Occasionally we should go away from our families, familiar surroundings, and associates and get an entire change, thus renewing our interest in the life outside our own circle of interests. We thereby obtain a perspective of our own position that will help our vision and sense of values; and we touch new minds and new interests and realize more than ever the happiness to be derived from just being pleasing."

Comment: I feel sorry for this generation, that did not enjoy the feeling of distinctive clothing on their backs. No matter how poor we were, we always enjoyed getting used clothing, washing it, ironing it, mending and repairing it, and hanging it in our closets. We wore it with delight, adding matching clips or ribbons in our hair, a little decorative trim to our shoes and socks, and a smile. Contrast this today's "slop-chic," where a girl's clothing makes us draw a horrified breath of shock when she walks by.

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