A Complete Course in Dressmaking/Lesson 1/Clothes etiquette: clothes that suit the place and the season



Sport’s Clothes. Do you know off hand just what you should wear when you golf or play tennis or ride or tramp cross country? It is pleasant to have the assurance that your clothes are just right in every particular.

After all, we are judged by our clothes. Whether or not they speak truthfully, to the world at large, they tell what kind of a person you are. A little attention to the small details will make them tell a pleasant story.

Suppose we consider first the correct clothes for tennis—that game which is becoming universally popular. Of course, no one bothers to dress specially just for a little informal game on their own side lawn. However, there is a certain type of costume that one has grown to expect in the tournaments at the country clubs.

The accepted costume is all that could be desired for comfort—a short, two-piece or plaited silk or woolen skirt and a plain tailored blouse of batiste, handkerchief linen or crepe de chine with comfortable V neck. I might add that the popular woolen sports skirt is striped.

Tennis is a hatless game. The hair ought to be dressed in a close simple manner. A narrow ribbon tied around the head, low over the forehead in the front and tied in the back is a becoming accessory which will serve to keep the hair in place.

White canvas or buckskin oxfords or shoes with flat rubber soles are the only footwear permissible for tennis.

Of course, a sweater is a necessity for after the game. Both silk and woolen sweaters are worn. One may have a subdued tone, black or any gay color that fancy dictates in the sweater.

Golf clothes seem to be in a state of evolution. At some of the smart links, women are wearing tweed suits with knickers. It must be remembered that this is the extreme, not the generally accepted custom. And it’s a fact that a woman in knickerbockers is very conspicuous.

A costume that is very smart at the present time for golf consists of a tailored blouse, a sleeveless wool jersey dress and a box-coat to match. The regulation wool jersey, tweed or homespun suit which has an amply wide skirt and a belted box coat is also worn with tailored waists. Although blouses with V necks and flat collars are worn, the preferred waist is in shirt style with high soft collar. It is usually made of pongee, crepe de chine or linen and worn with a man’s knitted silk tie.

In warm weather, separate woolen or silk skirts are worn with tailored waists of batiste or wash silk. To complete the costume, invariably there is a sweater.

The collapsible small felt, ribbon or straw hats are the accepted hats for golf. Shoes or oxfords of durable calfskin are to be preferred to fancy sports shoes.

There are special golf gloves with holes over the knuckles to give greater freedom to the hands.

Fig (3) The young girl wears a tweed riding habit with breeches.
The riding habit depends on two things: a person’s age and the environment. The young girl in her ’teens wears a tweed suit consisting of a box coat and riding breeches for riding across country, in town or even for an exhibition.

This costume is usually completed with a blocked tricone or a soft felt hat and riding boots.

Very often out in the country a woman also wears a tweed suit, box coat and breeches instead of a skirt. However, if she is riding in town, her suit is a little more formal. The coat is oxford cloth or twill and fitted. Her riding breeches are of twill or checked material or she has a divided skirt to match her coat. Her hat is either the regulation sailor or tricone.

For indoors exhibition riding, women usually choose the side saddle which calls for the regulation side-saddle habit and high silk hat.

The ideal suit for knockabout country wear is a three-piece one of tweed, homespun or khaki. There is a coat cut in box style and belted, a pair of knickerbockers and a skirt. The skirt buttons up the front and if occasion warrants can be worn as a cape. The outfit is completed with a shirt blouse, a soft felt hat and high lace calf skin shoes.

Perhaps, when you first read the heading Sport’s Clothes, you thought of the type of costume that has become generally popular and is called sport’s clothes. I have in mind the silk skirts, dainty handmade blouses and rather elaborate sweaters which are called sport’s clothes but have no place in real sports. They are the clothes which are worn in the mountains, country, seashore resorts and suburban towns for before noon and even in the afternoon for out of doors. The skirts are of fibre silk in white or a pastel shade and the blouses of batiste, lawn, voile
Fig. (4) A sensisible choice for afternoon is a silk frock.
or organdie trimmed with drawn work, handrun tucks and delicate Valenciennes filet or lace.

Clothes for Afternoon: If afternoon means calling and tea, then you need the type of a frock which is often termed "dressy." Usually an afternoon frock is of silk, but its material depends somewhat on the season.

You may indulge your inclinations in mid-summer to the extent of an organdie, batiste or mull dress for calling or afternoon. Mid-winter varies the rule also, and one might include velvet, duvetyn or broadcloth along with silks such as chiffon, crepe de chine, Canton crepe, and charmeuse as possibilities for the afternoon type of dress.

As to style, an afternoon dress has a slightly low neck, and elbow, three-quarter, or full length sleeves. The skirt usually shows some elaboration such as a tunic or slight drapery.

Fig. (5) Choose your evening dress to suit your type.
Clothes for Evening: It is difficult to put evening clothes under just one heading for here is where a woman’s age and general appearance makes a difference.

The young girl and the petite woman may choose for dances or other formal evening functions the type of costume which is generally termed a dance frock. This has a tight fitting bodice with straps on the shoulders. It may or may not have tulle sleeve caps. The skirt is short and bouffant.

The dress in vogue for the more dignified type of woman is made of rich brocade, satin or velvet and draped to the figure. Often it has a V decollete in the back and a mere wisp of the material forms a short train.

Of course, in the summertime a simple lowneck organdie dance frock is quite correct for evening.

A type of dress which is popular for restaurant dinner wear and the theatre has only a slightly low neck and no sleeves. It is made of silk, lace or velvet. It is not necessary to wear an evening dress or a restaurant dinner dress to the theatre unless one is to be seated in a box or is joining a party who are formally dressed for evening. If one’s escort is wearing street clothes, it is permissible to wear street clothes such as a suit or tailored frock.

For little informal evening socials, an afternoon frock is in good taste.

If one attends evening functions, some sort of a wrap of taffeta, satin, brocade or velvet is a necessity.

With a formal evening gown one should go hatless. However, a hat is worn with a restaurant dinner dress.

Street Clothes: Whether you live in the city or the country, your wardrobe must have one or two costumes in it suitable for what is termed street wear. It’s the semi-tailored type of costume one puts on for a shopping excursion or a trip to town.

Of course, your street costume may be a suit, completed with a georgette or dainty hand-made batiste blouse. However, many women prefer a one-piece dress.

For cool weather a serge, tricotine, velour or wool jersey is a good choice for a dress. With this a wrap is necessary for mid-winter. In early fall or late spring, the dress is often worn with a fur neck piece. Linen and gingham and dark colored organdies make attractive summer street dresses. Navy, brown and black silk are also made in plain styles for the street.

The hat worn with the street dress or suit ought to be neither severely tailored nor elaborate. It’s the medium size or small hat with a touch of trimming—one might almost say in-between hat—that looks the best with this type of costume.

While women do not follow the rules concerning footwear as closely as they used to, strictly speaking, the correct shoe or oxford for the street has a straight heel.

When You Travel: Either a suit or a dark one-piece dress is correct to wear on the train. A small semi-tailored hat is to be preferred to a large one. A pullman robe of dark cotton, silk or corduroy, which is worn from the berth to the dressing room, is in better taste than a light or bright colored kimono.

Fig. (6) A top coat is a necessity for an ocean voyage.
It is a matter of taste, whether or not a woman wears her hat in the dining car.

In some hotels it is really necessary to dress for dinner. The style of dinner dresses varies, but usually the neck is low and the sleeves very short or the dress is sleeveless. Satin, brocades, velvet and crepe silks and lace are used for dinner dresses.

However, in the majority of hotels it is permissible to wear a street costume or an afternoon frock for dinner. On the other hand, on shipboard one is expected to dress for dinner. As a matter of fact, it is well to take two evening dresses, one on the order of a dinner dress with only a slightly low neck, and the other a more elaborate evening gown as there is usually some special occasion for which one needs it.

Besides a suit, one needs a warm top coat if taking an ocean voyage. While it is not a necessity, a sports costume consisting of a silk or wool skirt and sweater or jersey jacket adds a nice change.

The Business Woman: Just because a woman is a business woman is no reason why she must lose her feminine attractiveness or dress so very differently from other women. On the other hand, she doesn’t want to look out of place. The one-piece dress has been a boon to her. It is her special standby.

Fig. (7) The one-peice dress is a boon to the business woman.
For cool weather, a dress of serge, twill or velour freshened up with several changes of dainty collars and cuffs of batiste or organdie will keep her looking spic and span and attractive, too, six days in the week.

Navy blue or brown linen, gingham, swiss or organdie make an inconspicuous and serviceable office dress for summer. It’s a good idea, too, having a dark silk office dress made in some plain becoming style.

There are certain types of sports costumes which are suited to the business woman’s purpose. Wool jersey and homespun suits are business among these. A silk skirt, a woman dainty blouse, and a sweater is also quite in keeping with an office.