A Complete Course in Dressmaking/Lesson 1/What is your type?


Perhaps it’s an impertinent question but we are talking just friend to friend and I am going to ask, “How old are you?”
Fig. (10) Grecian draperies belong to the girl with the grecian profile

Or maybe I had better say, “How young are you?” In selecting clothes, you know, age is just as important to the slip of a girl as it is to the woman who is growing older. Sixty’s dress can be downright cruel to sweet sixteen. On the other hand, the too-young dress is the very thing that will add ten years to a woman’s looks.

Decide your type and see which styles are best suited to you.

  • Are you a slim young girl?
  • Are you a stout young girl?
  • Are you a young woman of medium build?
  • Are you a stout younger woman?
  • Are you short?
  • Are you tall?
  • Are you thin?
  • Are you an older woman?

If You Are a Slim Young Girl—Then simplicity is your biggest asset. If you are sixteen or in your early twenties, you are sure to look your prettiest in simply tailored suits
Fig. (11) If you are a slim young girl, you can wear a basque dress with a bouffant skirt.
and crisp dimity or batiste Buster Brown blouses.

Suitability in your tricotine or serge dress is just the matter of a youthful style and enough but not too much trimming.

A braid binding or a contrasting piping is far more effective than a showy beaded or embroidered trimming.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge your basque dress with a bouffant fancy for frivolous things. It’s every girl’s privilege to have endless pretty organdie, net and lace collar and cuffs sets. Now that you are going to sew, you know, you can make them for a very small cost.

When it comes to your silk frock I am tempted to say taffeta—it is so becoming to the young girl. However, if satin or a crepe weave appeals to you more, have them by all means but be doubly careful that the style you select is youthful. Crepes and satins are both tricky. You dont want your dress to look as if you borrowed it from mother or Aunt Mabel.

Of course, for evening, there is nothing like taffeta, taffeta and lace or taffeta and tulle. Here you may have the frock bouffant to your heart’s content and trimmed too.

I wonder if you will mind my adding just a few don’ts.

Don’t wear a quantity of imitation jewelry and spoil your pretty costume. Try just your wrist watch with your serge or tricotine and see if it doesn’t took better. Remember too, that there’s nothing like a simple string of pearls to set off an evening frock.

Don’t overdo the styles. After all, clothes are just a frame for one’s personality. You want people to remember you; not that your skirt was short or long or tight or full.

Don’t copy some one else’s clothes, unless they happen to be your age and your type. Miss a-hundred-and-sixty and Miss not-quite-a-hundred-and-five were never intended to be twins.

Perhaps You Are One of the Stout Young Girls.—Of course you can’t have some of the things that slim young girls have—ruffles, puffings and frills for instance. However there’s danger in swinging too far the other way.

Just because you are plump is no reason why you must wearstout styles for older women” You can have youthful simplicity in straight lines and long lines.

Fig (12) The straight silhouette is the becoming silhouette for the stout young girl.
Dresses of one material and all one color are to be preferred to separate waists and skirts which cut you in two. Russian blouse styles and straight hanging dresses are usually becoming. Pay particular attention to the belt. A narrow belt, placed at a slightly low waistline is better than a broad one placed high.

If you wear a suit you will find a blouse that matches the skirt in color is more becoming than a decided contrast. There are many pretty blouses now that lap over the skirt, and give long lines. Those of wool jersey and crepe de chine, finished with a V neck the stout young and detachable linen collar and cuffs are especially youthful.

Perhaps you haven’t thought of it, but you can wear almost any pleated skirt except an accordion plaited one. The accordion plaits are bunchy, but the side or box-pleats really give graceful long lines. In a soft material or a summer dress, you might even chance a frill, if it isn’t too wide and runs up and down the side seams of the skirt. You see, placed lengthwise it, too, gives a long line.

It almost goes without saying that crosswise trimmings are taboo. Trimming can be put on to give length.

Plain materials are less likely to make you look large than figured ones. Narrow stripes are permissible but never broad stripes or plaids.

Soft materials are best but avoid a material that “cups” to the figure like wool jersey or tricolette.

Probably, this sounds like a great many don’ts to you, but there are any number of pretty materials that you can safely choose. French serge, tricotine, tweed, crepe de chine, georgette, soft taffeta, cotton crepe, voile and batiste are examples.

There are stout girls who wear capes well, but they are the tall stout girls. If you are just medium or short and plump, a coat that is belted trimly with a narrow belt will give you better lines. In any event, avoid a cape. It is almost the worst enemy the stout young girl has.

The pockets on your coat ought to be inconspicuous—never the large plastery patch pocket variety. You may have this to console you, that, anyway, slashed pockets, placed lengthwise, are smarter now.

The collar, too, ought never to be more than medium in size. Collars that border on the cape variety seem to add many inches in width.

It is possible to add trimming to a coat that will give long lines. Rows of parallel machine stitching, lengthwise at the center back or sides will give a pleasing effect.

When you choose a suit, pay particular attention to the length of the jacket. The bolero and waistline jacket are not for you. Hunt out the coat that is finger tip length or longer. A simple box coat with perhaps an inverted pleat at the center back to give added length, and the narrowest kind of a belt, you will find answers the requirements for a youthful look and a becoming line.

All you have to do is to compare in your mind’s eye this type of coat with one that is fitted in body and flaring below the waistline to be convinced of the wisdom of straight lines. I want to add just a few more suggestions. The first is about the fit of your clothes.

Don’t skimp your clothes. A tight dress never makes a person look smaller. In fact, tightness is apt to accentuate the size of the bust, the bigness of the arms and the width of the thighs. Try a little fullness, it will do wonders in the way of hiding large hips.

There is the question, too, of the length of your skirts. If you wear your skirts a little bit longer than the slim girl, you will find they will give you added height.

Even your hat can add to your height or take away from it. Perhaps, the best rule I can give you to follow is to avoid broad brims and shallow crowns. There is danger, too, in the mushroom brim, although a brim that is medium in size and only droops slightly is often very becoming. A turban or a round hat with a decidedly upward brim is also to be avoided. Even when you have eliminated all these, you will find that you have a wide selection among the hats that have medium brims and fairly high crowns. Try on your hat in front of a full length mirror.

Fig. (13) The woman of medium build can wear almost any fashion.
Or Are You a Young Woman of Medium Build?—I am thinking of the girls, say twenty-eight years old or in their early thirties, whose figures are beginning to round out a little more. If you are in that class, watch out and avoid that pinched in “waisty” look.

What you want are young clothes, but they can be a trifle more sophisticated than the girl in her Teens wears. You can break away from utter simplicity and have loose panels and tunics and coat effects.

But you want to be very careful about what you put under that pretty new frock. How about your corset? Is it making you look your very best? You know you can’t go on wearing the same little girdle that you did when you were just a girl.

Watch out for your hips. The too-light corset is a hip builder, you know. Perhaps you relax more now and don’t exercise so much—that is, hip reducing exercise that you indulged in ten years ago. Take a good look at yourself in the glass. If your hips spread, it is time to change corsets.

There are special corsets designed just for your type—for the young woman of medium build. They give a nice straight line in the back and hold in the hips.

What you wear over your corset counts too. The new straight loose dresses look much better when worn over a straight slip than over a waistline petticoat which is apt is make a break at the waistline.

When it comes to your outer apparel, you can have clothes with more trimming than your younger sister’s. Instead of the girlish styles, look for those that have a little more dignity along with their style. It can be just as dashing a style, just as becoming a style, but you might as well admit the fact that it must be a trifle older.

You will find probably that a hat with a little trimming well placed is more becoming than a severely plain one. You will be wise to stick to small or medium size hats. As a matter of fact, a hat is never becoming that extends beyond the width of the shoulders. It’s a good rule to remember.

A blouse that has a square or round or V neck is apt to suit you better than one with a Buster Brown or flat Peter Pan collar.

In dresses, keep to fairly straight lines. Leave the fitted basque and petite flaring skirt for your little sister—that is if you are thinking about a street dress.

There is an exception to the straight silhouette in your case and that is the dance frock. Here you have the choice of two types—the bodice topped dress with bouffant skirt or the straight frock that’s often made of spangles or beads.

There is the matter of coats and suits, too! You can choose a dressier suit than the young girl without fear of over-doing it. Your suit may be soft velour, hand embroidered, and if it’s winter, banded with fur. The same rule holds true in your top coat. Unless it is for sports or the country, the fabric may be luxuriant, and trimmed.

As to material, you are at the happy inbetween age when you can have just about anything your heart desires.

Your summer cottons may be gay calico, subdued ginghams, plain linen, or a frilly organdie. In silks, your choice may be transparent georgette or a heavy Canton crepe. You don’t have to consider if wool jersey is too clinging, for you are still slim enough to wear it. It is true, too, that you may choose plaid or check if it happens to appeal to you.

There are rules for trimming that even the perfectly developed woman is wise to follow. A great many lines that run around the figure are seldom pleasing. If you have seen a skirt that was braided at regular intervals from the lower edge to the waistline, you will know what I mean. It is tiresome.

Never combine two colors in a dress in exactly equal proportions. The dress will be much prettier if one shade predominates or at least forms two-thirds of the dress.

A word about jewelry goes right along with trimmings. If your dress is elaborately trimmed, don’t add ornaments in the way of jewelry. One will spoil the other. If you are planning to wear a pendant or colorful placque on a silk cord, choose a plain style for your dress. A bright red or jade placque hanging on the front of a dark blue or black dress is really all the trimming it needs. Sometimes, too, just a bright bar pin will add the right spot of color.

Would You Be Classed as a Stout Younger Woman?—Perhaps you, too, are in your twenties or early thirties but are frankly stout and have oh, so much difficulty finding suitable clothes—clothes that don’t make you look like a dowager. You will have to take
Fig. (14) Crosswise lines make even a vase look shorter and wider.
some of the advice that I gave the stout young girl.

Watch out for the fit. Don’t fit your clothes too much. An easy fit, soft folds and a little fullness will do more than anything else in the world to give you the youthful look.

The waistline is especially important. Ease it up a little. Let out your inside grosgrain dress belt an inch or so and get a straight silhouette.

Then, it is possible you know, to make yourself look taller and slighter than you really are. It’s just the same sort of a trick that is shown in Figs. (14) and (15). Of course, the vase with the up and down lines looks the taller. That’s what you want to do with your clothes. Keep the lines running up and down. I am thinking of tunics and panels and coat dresses that give height to the figure.

However, up and down lines won’t do everything. There’s broad stripes, for instance, the contrast in color makes you conspicuous and adds to your size. A decided contrast in the color of two fabrics in one dress will do practically the same thing.

The little Fig. (14) speaks for itself—avoid crosswise lines if you value a graceful appearance. Separate waists and skirts of different colors will never make you look slimmer. A three-piece suit which consists of a one-piece dress and coat is the admirable solution of the suit problem.

If you wear a blouse at all, have it in a color that matches the skirt and in a style that laps over the skirt to avoid the break at the waistline. Of course, you have to have a belt, but make it a narrow one and always of material the same color of the dress. In
Fig. (15) perpendicular lines give height to an object.
fact, the belt is more becoming if you have it of goods the same as the dress.

Your arms are apt to look larger in transparent sleeves. If your dress is chiffon, try making your sleeves double of the goods. You will find that set-in sleeves are not only more comfortable but will look better than kimono sleeves. Long, close-fitting sleeves are more becoming than short or flaring sleeves.

The V-neck outline gives the longest lines but there are some oval necks that do not broaden the figure greatly. Square necks are not so good, neither are round necks nor the straight across, boat-shaped outline.

Fig. (16) Coat dresses are becoming to the stout woman.
Probably, you have learned by experience that the skirt of medium proportions looks far better than a narrow or extremely flaring one, regardless of the ultra style of the particular season.

There is your hat, too! It’s another part of your costume that comes under the rule of medium. A large hat will make you look shorter and an extremely small hat will emphasize the width of your figure.

I am going to tell you the materials not to wear—stiff goods, wiry goods, goods that clingy bulky goods or conspicuously patterned or brightly colored fabrics.

After all, they are not much of a temptation when you think how attractive the crepe silks are and that most desirable woolens such as velour, serge, broadcloth and tricotine are soft, to say nothing of cottons such as crepe, voile and gingham tissue.

Even in cottons, it is safest to choose a plain color in preference to a patterned goods. Sometime try a plain blue or brown voile and see what slim lines it gives you.

If You Are Short.—Which class of short women do you belong to, short and slim or short and stout or just medium?

If you are short and slim, dressing becomingly ought not to be a very difficult proposition.

There are just two or three things I would like to put the danger mark on. One of them is dressing your hair high. If you build it up into an exaggerated coiffure, you will look top heavy and call attention to your lack of height.

You have much the same problem with your hat—wings that shoot up in the air, bows that are placed high, egrets standing upright are almost never becoming to the small woman.

I advise studying the height of the heels of your shoes, too. A very high heel—higher than other women are wearing—will make people think that you are trying to make yourself look taller than you are.

Make the most of your appearance—your height—as it is. You know you can make yourself look taller without anyone suspecting it by choosing clothes that have long lines. However, if you are short and slim, your charm is in the very fact that you are small and petite and you can wear almost any style that fashion dictates, avoiding an elaboration of drapery on a skirt, or a voluminous wrap or extremely large figured materials.

Fig. (17) if you are frills short, choose either a short or a three-quarter coat—never one that cuts you just in two.
Some of the styles which you can wear well are what are called sport’s clothes: the pretty sweaters, plaited skirts, and dainty hand-made blouses. Dresses that have a low bloused-over waist are also becoming to the slim, short woman.

If you belong to that petite girlish type, try the basque type of dress with a full skirt, or a fitted coat with a ripple peplum.

You may have ruffles and to your heart’s content, but avoid an elaboration of drapery that may seem to weight you down. Now, haven’t you seen a dainty little woman whom you felt downright sorry for because her clothes seemed such a load to carry around.

And now you women who are short and stout!—Your problem is almost identical to the taller stout woman’s problem. Pick out the styles that have long lines. If you wear a tunic it ought to be a long one.

Keep your waistline as low as possible, it will give you a more graceful appearance than a bunchy short waist.

Don’t wear a suit coat that cuts you right in two. A hip-length coat or a three-quarter coat is far more becoming.

A belted top coat is to be preferred to a bulky wrap or cape.

If you wear a fur, choose a small neck-piece and have a short-haired pelt such as mole, beaver or seal.

Study yourself as a whole and balance your costume. Don’t trust a shoulder length or a waistline mirror. A hat may be becoming to your face, but be top heavy for your body. It takes a full-length mirror to make us see ourselves as others see us.

There is the question of the length of skirt! You can’t make a rule of so many inches from the floor that will apply to everyone. It may be just above the shoe tops for the tall woman, but half-way to the knees of a short woman.

Standing on a chair and looking in a small mirror doesn’t tell much either. A cut-off view of feet, ankles and skirt may look very graceful, and yet the length of skirt from bottom to waistline may be very awkward.

There is danger in the too-short skirt for the short woman. One short woman expressed the idea concisely herself, when she said, “She didn’t want her skirt to look like a ruffle.” It’s a fact, that often an inch on the length of your skirt will seem to add an inch to your height.

There is one point which you must bear in mind when looking at special designs for stout women—that the massive type of big stout women require different styles than you do. They can wear designs that are cut up in a great many pieces—that is, have a great many up and down lines in them. On the other hand, you will look much better in a simpler type of dress, one perhaps that has just a panel or a single line of trimming down each side of the front. For you, the dress of many pieces is in the same class as a figured dress.

It’s a mistake to think that your clothes must be tight. It’s not the stylish conception any more. In soft materials, a little fullness in a skirt is becoming. A short stout woman can wear a straight hanging dress, too, if the belt is narrow and slants down in the front.

As a rule, V necks are the most becoming. The longer the V, the better. You know a deep V gives a chance for the becoming touch of white.

Just mark kimono sleeves taboo, for they are apt to make a person look hunched in the back and very, very wide. Full length, set-in, close-fitting sleeves will make your arms look slimmer.

If you are short and stout, look up the color suggestions on page 64.

Or maybe you are short and just medium.—I am going to ask you to read what I told the short, slim woman about her coiffure, her hat and the heels of her shoes.

You ought to watch out for long lines in clothes and avoid cut-off cross lines.

Drapery is not for you either.

And use frills sparingly on your blouse.

There is the question of trimming, too. An elaborate beaded or embroidered all-over design is just as bad as a figured goods.

Make simplicity the keynote of your wardrobe. Fancy clothes will take away from your height and your individuality, too. Plain good style clothes have a dignity and smartness which is your special privilege.

Starting in with dresses, straight hanging dresses will give you good lines, especially if the trimming runs up and down. You can wear over-blouse styles, too, and coat dresses.

Suit coats ought to be finger-tip length or longer. You can't afford to chance a line that cuts you right in two. Coats with irregular lower edges are apt to be more becoming than straight-around coats. Coats that are slightly fitted or on the box order, give longer lines than those that are close-fitting and have a ripple peplum.

Avoid the too-short skirt and the skirt that is very full. They will both make you look shorter.

Top coats that have set-in sleeves and are belted at a low waistline with a narrow belt are far more becoming than a voluminous wrap or flaring unbelted coat.

Your hat is an important item. You are one of the women who can wear a small hat unless your face is round. Medium hats, too, will become you. Avoid a shallow crown hat. A hat with a medium high crown is better. A decided mushroom brim is another style which makes a person look shorter. On the other hand, a hat with an off-the-face brim or with the brim rolled on one side gives height.

If You Are Tall.—There is a difference in being tall and too tall. We know that Fashion designs for the tall girl or woman. She practically hasn’t any clothes worries at all as far as the lines of the garment are concerned.

However, if you are too tall, I think I can give you a few helpful suggestions. First of all, how do you carry yourself? Don’t on any account stoop, as if you were apologizing for being as tall as you are. To carry your clothes well you must stand up straight.

Of course you don’t want to wear panels or stripes that emphasize your height—on the other hand, it’s a mistake to make a dress with so many crosswise lines that look like a crosswise striped barber’s pole.

Draperies are your share of the fashions that many other women cannot wear. Tunics, loose panels and coat effect are all good.

Avoid mannishly tailored clothes, they will make you seem larger than you really are. Don’t be afraid to indulge in pretty clothes—blouses with frills and dainty collars.

Suppose we talk just about necklines. Have you ever happened to think that the neckline of a dress can make you look taller than you really are? I am thinking of those long V neck lines and the panel front effects that so many of the coat dresses have.

If you are wise you will leave these for your short plump little cousin. She needs them and you don’t.

You can indulge in some of the ultra fashions—the boat and almond shaped neck that ovals slightly from shoulder to shoulder or the straight across Grecian neck line which many shorter women complain of as “trying.” Of course, there are square and oval necks, too, that will become you. Bertha effects, when they are in style, are a neck finish you may indulge in.

You may have your choice of either a kimono or set-in sleeve. A long, very close-fitting sleeve will make your arms seem long. Fancy sleeves will probably be more becoming.

I am going to put cascaded folds in a paragraph all by themselves. They are such a friend to the tall woman. Cascaded folds on a skirt, or a rippling cascaded fold from the shoulder to the hem, seem to be planned especially for the tall woman.

The tall woman’s suit coat may ripple and flare. It may have a bulky collar, too, and plastrons of embroidery or large buttons for trimming.

And you women who are tall, capes are made for you. Evening wraps that are bulky and drape will become you. If you happen to like an unbelted, rippling back, top coat, you can wear it well, too.

In choosing a fur, you will do well to select a long-haired pelt.

Remember that long-haired pelts are one of your special privileges, for only tall women can wear them well. Of course, short-haired pelts if made in a suitable style are often very becoming to a tall woman. Do not select so small a piece that it looks skimpy. You will look better in a broad scarf or a cape effect.

I have just a few cautions to add.

Perhaps you are tempted to flatten out your hair and wear low-crowned hats and flat-heeled shoes just to make yourself look a little shorter. Well, it really doesn’t accomplish that result. It’s far better to dress your hair becomingly, wear a hat that is just right according to the prevailing mode and shoes that have a good-looking medium heel.

Fig. (18) The thin woman will find frills are her friends.
If You Are Thin.—I don’t mean slim. I am thinking of the women who describe themselves as painfully thin. Some people are naturally thin and have to face their clothes problem just the same as the stout woman has to face hers. You can’t always cover yourself up to your chin, down to wrist and down to heels. Fashion won’t let you do that every season. However, you can adapt the fashions.

Suppose we consider fabrics first. Has it occurred to you that crisp, hard-finished fabrics are trying? Take organdie, for instance. It will accentuate your thinness. On the other hand mull, or batiste, or even voile will give a soft effect that is very becoming.

Taffeta is another material you want to avoid. Crepe silks or charmeuse are really better.

It’s the same with woolen. It’s my advice to pass right by the mohair and poplin counter and purchase instead velour, French serge or wool jersey.

What you want in material is not a texture that is so harsh that it flares away in an abrupt line from figure, but a pliant weave which will fall into soft graceful folds. But avoid the clinging line that is another danger point.

It’s a compliment to be called slim but never slinky. Don’t be tempted to eliminate your petticoat because your top skirt is a heavy weave. A frilly camisole too, will make your silk frock and your sheer blouse set better.

High collars, of course, are very becoming but they are not always in style. If you are wearing a low neck, try adding a fold of cream color or white chiffon, batiste or net beyond the edge of the dress. It will soften the effect. You will also find neck frills or jabots very becoming.

On the other hand, a collarless neckline is severe. If the bones show a little in your neck, it will make the shadows under them seem deeper. If you are making a tailored cloth or silk dress, hunt out the styles with vest fronts. They give you a chance to add the becoming frill or two of net, batiste or lace.

One of the very best styles for the thin woman is a surplice waist.

Always see to it that there is a fullness at the waistline of your skirt.

You can wear tunics and loose panels and draperies.

If you are thin and also young and the petite type, then ruffles are one of your privileges, too. There are many other nice things which I can tell you. Since you are thin, even if you are short, you can wear a cape gracefully. Bulky top coats too, will become you. Even a ripple is not out of the way on your tailored suit. If the coat has a flaring peplum or a little drapery, so much the better.

In hats you want to look for softness. If your face is thin, avoid the hat with sharp angles,—tricorns and hats that point out at the sides. The brim that droops a little will probably be more becoming. Handmade draped hats are excellent.

Avoid transparent blouses or dresses—especially in kimono styles. I’d advise, too, a skirt that is just as long as fashion permits.

After all, no matter what the latest fad is, the stylish thing to do is to dress becomingly. If you want to use a transparent material and perhaps in a kimono style sleeve, try making the sleeves of two thicknesses of the goods. This is often done. The same holds true of lace. If you are using lace for a waist or sleeves, line it with chiffon. Even skirt draperies of lace will seem softer if they are lined with chiffon.

Fig (19) For the woman who is older, there is be coming softness in surplice styles.
Are You an Older Woman?—Whether you are growing older, from forty or fifty or sixty, there are certain changes in your figure. Perhaps you are growing stouter, either all over or through your bust or hips and abdomen. Perhaps your chest has flattened. You may not be quite so erect.

You will have to suit your clothes to your new figure. They can be just as charming but they will have to be different.

What you want are clothes that will do kindly things—soften the lines of your figure. There are only a very few older women who can wear severely tailored styles well. are the broad-chested, straight-backed older women who always stand erect. As a general rule the middle-aged, or older woman, looks better in a onepiece dress or a semi-tailored suit that has a little trimming.

Three-piece suits, having a dress and suit coat are excellent. Or, if you make a blouse to match the color of your suit coat, and trim the blouse with a little suit material, it will look just like a dress.

Another way of making a suit into a one-piece dress is to cut the skirt off at the hips and attach it to a silk overblouse of a ing shade.When worn with cloth belt, it makes a very good looking, straight hanging dress for the older woman.

Surplice waists are one of the becoming styles you may choose. Vests and long collars are also good. Avoid the very plain skirt. Tunic, panel and draped styles are better.

Always have a touch of white at the neck. It’s far more becoming than a dark color next to the skin. Don’t think that you have to have all your dresses high neck style—make some of them with pretty low V necks or the U-shaped neck outline and wear them with white guimpes that have high collars.

Another way of making the neck look trim with a low neck dress is to wear an inch wide piece of black velvet around the neck. Make the ribbon to fit the neck and fasten it with snaps in the back or with small gold pins.

Coats of soft velour made with long shawl collar or revers and finished with a narrow belt are usually becoming to the mature woman. The older woman will do well to avoid the extreme fads of fashion, for to be really becoming, her clothes must have a certain dignity.

There is the question of the length of the skirt. Consult a full length peer glass when you are having the hem of your skirt turned. You will find a long skirt more graceful than a short one. It is impossible to give a general rule for the length of skirt that will become every older women, but five inches from the floor usually is about right.

The width of the skirt is another point where the older woman must use her own good judgment, regardless of what is decreed by some French couturiere. A slip of a girl, who really hasn’t very much figure, can wear an extremely tight skirt, but when you are older and have hips to consider, such a skirt is quite out of the question. However, there is no need to go to the other extreme and wear old-fashioned clothes. It’s a fact that conservative, medium width skirts are in style season in and season out.

I might add a word about comfort, too. Wear comfortable clothes. No woman looks her best if her corsets are digging into her side and her collar chocking her, or her skirt whipping around her ankles every time she steps. Clothes you enjoy wearing are usually becoming.

This little rule applies to shoes as well as to dresses, coats and suits. Nine out of every ten older women look better in a comfortable straight heeled shoe or slipper, than they do in high French heels. Very high heels are apt to throw the body forward and out of its natural graceful poise. Naturally, an older woman tires easier and slumps into this unbecoming posture sooner than a young girl. If you want to dress for an enduring smartness that will last a whole afternoon or a whole day, wear comfortable clothes.

Pay particular attention to the head size of your next hat. Nothing spoils a woman’s appearance quicker than a hat that is so large that it slips down over the ears or the too-small hat that rides perilously on the top of the head or slips rakishly over one ear. As a general rule, the older woman looks well in a hat that sits squarely on the head. Draped handmade hats are to be preferred to the severity of a blocked hat. The brimless hat is too hard for the older woman. A hat that shades the face a little is more becoming.