«Table of Contents What Dress Makes of Us Dorothy Quigley PREFACE WHAT DRESS MAKES OF US CHAPTER I. HOW WOMEN OF CERTAIN TYPES SHOULD DRESS THEIR HAIR ...»
What Dress Makes of Us
What Dress Makes of Us
Table of Contents
What Dress Makes of Us
WHAT DRESS MAKES OF US
CHAPTER I. HOW WOMEN OF CERTAIN TYPES SHOULD DRESS THEIR HAIR
CHAPTER II. HINTS FOR THE SELECTION OF BECOMING AND APPROPRIATE STYLES
CHAPTER III. LINES THAT SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AND CONSIDERED IN MAKING
CHAPTER IV. HOW PLUMP AND THIN BACKS SHOULD BE CLOTHED
CHAPTER V. CORSAGES APPROPRIATE FOR WOMEN WITH UNBEAUTIFULLYMODELLED THROATS AND SHOULDERS
CHAPTER VI. HINTS ON DRESS FOR ELDERLY WOMEN
CHAPTER VII. HOW MEN CARICATURE THEMSELVES WITH THEIR CLOTHES................20.
i What Dress Makes of Us Dorothy Quigley This page copyright © 2004 Blackmask Online.
• WHAT DRESS MAKES OF US.
• CHAPTER I. HOW WOMEN OF CERTAIN TYPES SHOULD DRESS THEIR HAIR.
• CHAPTER II. HINTS FOR THE SELECTION OF BECOMING AND APPROPRIATE STYLES INHEAD−GEAR.
• CHAPTER III. LINES THAT SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AND CONSIDERED IN MAKINGCOSTUMES.
• CHAPTER IV. HOW PLUMP AND THIN BACKS SHOULD BE CLOTHED.
• CHAPTER V. CORSAGES APPROPRIATE FOR WOMEN WITH UNBEAUTIFULLY
MODELLED THROATS AND SHOULDERS.
• CHAPTER VI. HINTS ON DRESS FOR ELDERLY WOMEN.
• CHAPTER VII. HOW MEN CARICATURE THEMSELVES WITH THEIR CLOTHES.Produced by Stan Goodman, Dave Morgan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
WHAT DRESS MAKES OF USBy
DOROTHY QUIGLEYIllustrations by ANNIE BLAKESLEE I am indebted to the editors of the New York Sun and New York Journal for kindly allowing me to include in this book articles which I contributed to their respective papers.
Did you ever observe, dear comrade, what an element of caricature lurks in clothes? A short, round coat on a stout man seems to exaggerate his proportions to such a ridiculous degree that the profile of his manly form suggests “the robust bulge of an old jug.” A bonnet decorated with loops of ribbon and sprays of grass, or flowers that fall aslant, may give a laughably tipsy air to the long face of a saintly matron of pious and conservative habits.
A peaked hat and tight−fitting, long−skirted coat may so magnify the meagre physical endowments of a tall, slender girl that she attains the lank and longish look of a bottle of hock.
Oh! the mocking diablery in strings, wisps of untidy hair, queer trimmings, and limp hats. Alas! that they should have such impish power to detract from the dignity of woman and render man absurd.
Because of his comical attire, an eminent Oxford divine, whose life and works commanded reverence, was once mistaken for an ancient New England spinster in emancipated garments. His smoothly shaven face, framed in crinkly, gray locks, was surmounted by a soft, little, round hat, from the up−turned brim of which dangled a broken string. His long frock−coat reached to just above his loosely fitting gaiters.
The fluttering string, whose only reason for being at all was to keep the queer head−gear from sailing away on the wind, gave a touch of the ludicrous to the boyish hat which, in its turn, lent more drollery than dignity to the sanctified face of the old theologian. Who has not seen just such, or a similar sight, and laughed? Who has not, with the generosity common to us all, concluded these were the mistakes and self−delusions of neighbors, relatives, and friends, in which we had no share?
I understand how it is with you. I am one of you. Before I studied our common errors I smiled at my neighbor's lack of taste, reconstructed my friends, and cast contemptuous criticism upon my enemies. One day I took a look at myself, and realized that “I, too, am laughable on unsuspected occasions.” The humbling knowledge of seeing myself objectively, gave me courage to speak to the heart of you certain home truths which concern us all, in homely language which we can all understand.
That you may discern the comicality and waggery in ill−chosen clothes, I have endeavored to hint to you in these talks some of the ways gew−gaws and garments make game of us.
May you discover that your dress is not making you a laughable object; but if, by any chance, you should note that your clothes are caricaturing you, take heart. Enjoy the joke with the mirth that heals and heartens, and speedily correct your mistakes.
The lines of your form, the modelling of your face, are they not worthy of your discerning thought? Truly!
Whatever detracts from them detracts from sculpture, painting, and poetry, and the world is the loser.
A word to the thinking is sufficient.
The pleasing, but somewhat audacious statement of the clever writer who asserted, “In the merciful scheme of nature, there are no plain women,” is not as disputable as it may seem. Honest husbands, to be sure, greet the information with dissenting guffaws; gay deceivers reflect upon its truth by gallantly assenting to it, with a mocking little twinkle in their eyes; and pretty women, upon hearing it, remark sententiously “Blind men and fools may think so.” Discerning students of womankind, however, know that if every woman would make the
best of her possibilities, physically, mentally, and spiritually, it would be delightfully probable that “in the merciful scheme of nature” there need be no plain women.
Have we not Lord Chesterfield's word for it, that “No woman is ugly when she is dressed”?
It is no unworthy study to learn to make the best of, and to do justice to, one's self. Apropos of this, to begin—where all fascinating subjects should begin—at the head, it behooves every woman who wishes to appear at her best, to study the modelling of her face that she may understand both its defective and perfect lines. By a proper arrangement of her hair a woman can do much to obscure or soften her bad features, and heighten the charm of her good ones.
Romancers have written, and poets have sung, of the bewitchment in nut−brown locks, golden tresses, and jetty curls. Every woman, if so inclined, may prove for herself the transfiguring effect in a becoming coiffure.
In fact, the beauty of a woman's face and her apparent age are greatly affected by the way she wears her hair.
A most important detail that too few consider, is, the proper direction in which to comb the hair. Women literally toss their tresses together without any attention to the natural inclination of the individual strands or fibres. They comb their hair “against the grain.” Those who do so never have beautifully and smoothly arranged coiffures. Each little hirsute filament has a rebellious tendency to go in the direction nature intended it should, and refuses to “stay where it is put,” giving the head in consequence, an unkempt and what is termed an “unladylike” appearance. The criss−cross effect resulting from combing and arranging the hair contrary to “the grain” is conspicuously apparent in the coiffure of no less a personage than Eleanora Duse, who, as may be seen from the picture, pays little attention to the natural tendency of the dark tresses that cover her shapely head. The bang has the dishevelled appearance of a pile of jack−straws. The side−locks instead of being combed or brushed to follow the contour of the head, fall loosely and fly in opposite directions.
[Illustration: NO. 2] The difference in appearance between the women of the smart sets in America and those of less fashionable circles is due, in a great measure, to the beautifully dressed coiffures of the former. A hair−dresser arranges, at least once a week, the hair of the modish woman if her maid does not understand the art of hair−dressing.
Many women of the wealthy world have their maids taught by a French coiffeur.
A wise woman will adopt a prevailing mode with discretion, for, what may be essentially appropriate for one, may be fatally inappropriate for another. In adjusting her “crown of glory” a woman must consider the proportions of her face. She should be able to discern whether her eyes are too near the top of her head or, too far below; whether she has a square or wedge−shaped chin; a lean, long face, or a round and bountifully curved one. She should be alert to her defects and study never to emphasize nor exaggerate them.
Why, through stupidity or carelessness, make a cartoon of yourself, when with a proper appreciation of your possibilities you can be a pleasing picture? It is just as glorious to be a fine picture or a poem as it is to paint the one, or write the other. Indeed, a woman who harmoniously develops the best within her has the charm of an exquisite poem and inspires poets to sing; and if by the grace and beauty of her dress she enhances her natural endowments and makes herself a pleasing picture, the world becomes her debtor.
In the important matter of becomingly arranging the hair, the following sketches and suggestions may hint to bright, thinking, women what styles to choose or avoid.
For Wedge−Shaped Faces.
[Illustration: NO. 3]
[Illustration: NO. 4] The least−discerning eye can see that the wedge−Shaped face No. 3 is caricatured, and its triangular proportions made more evident, by allowing the hair to extend in curls or a fluffy bang on either side of the head. Women with delicately modelled faces with peaked chins should avoid these broad effects above their brows.
It is obvious in the sketch No. 4, that the wedge−shaped face is perceptibly improved by wearing the hair in soft waves, or curls closely confined to the head and by arranging a coil or high puff just above and in front of the crown. This arrangement gives a desirable oval effect to the face, the sharp prominence of the chin being counteracted by the surmounting puffs.
For Heavy Jaws.
It may readily be seen that a woman with the square, heavy−jawed face pictured by No. 5, should not adopt a straight, or nearly straight, bang, nor wear her hair low on her forehead, nor adjust the greater portion of her hair so that the coil cannot be seen above the crown of her head. The low bang brings into striking relief all the hard lines of her face and gives the impression that she has pugilistic tendencies.
[Illustration: NO. 5] To insure artistic balance to her countenance, and bring out the womanly strength and vital power of her face, her hair should be arranged in coils, puffs, or braids that will give breadth to the top of her head as shown by No. 6. A fluffy, softly curled bang adds grace to the forehead and gives it the necessary broadness it needs to lessen and lighten the heaviness of the lower part of the face. A bow of ribbon, or an aigrette of feathers, will add effectively the crown of braids or puffs which a wise woman with a square jaw will surmount her brow if she wishes to subdue the too aggressive, fighting qualities of her strong chin.
[Illustration: NO. 6] For Short Faces.
The sisterhood who have short, chubby faces should, in a measure, observe certain rules that apply in a small degree to those who have heavy chins.
As may be observed even with a casual glance, the little short−faced woman depicted by No. 7, causes her round facial disk to appear much shorter than it really is by allowing her hair to come so far down on her forehead. She further detracts from her facial charms by wearing “water−waves.” Water−waves are scarcely to be commended for any type of face, and they are especially unbecoming to the woman who is conspicuously “roly−poly.” The round eyes, knobby nose, and round mouth are brought into unattractive distinctness by being re−duplicated in the circular effects of the hair. This mode of dressing the hair makes a short face look common and insignificant.
[Illustration: NO. 7] Do you not see that this type is immensely improved by the arrangement of the coiffure in No. 8? By combing her hair off her forehead her face acquires a look of alertness and intelligence, besides being apparently lengthened. She can wear her bang in soft crimps brushed back from her brow, if this plain arrangement is too severe.
[Illustration: NO. 8]
For Eyes Set Too High.
A low forehead is supposed to be a sign of beauty in woman. The brows of the famous Venuses are low and broad. Perhaps for this reason many women wear their hair arranged low upon their foreheads. Whether the hair should be worn low on the brow depends chiefly on two things,—“the setting of the eyes, and the quality of the face.” [Illustration: NO. 8−1/2] A good rule to observe is the artistic one, to the effect that “the eyes of a woman should be in the middle of her head.” That is, if an imaginary line were drawn across the top of the head and another below the chin, exactly midway between the two the eyes should be set.
The Japanese type of woman should carefully observe the foregoing hint.
Observe No. 8−1/2. Nature has not been artistic. The eyes are too near the top of the head. The defect is exaggerated and emphasized by the wearing of the hair low on the forehead. In some faces of this type the face is brutalized in appearance by this arrangement. The expression and whole quality of the countenance can be greatly improved by arranging the hair as shown by No. 9, which is the soft Pompadour style. The Duchess of Marlborough, formerly Consuelo Vanderbilt, frames her naive, winsome face, which is of the Japanese type, in a style somewhat like this. Her dark hair forms an aureole above her brow, and brings into relief the dainty, oval form of her face. Even simply brushing the hair off the forehead without crimp or roll will improve the appearance of this type of face and give it a better artistic balance.