This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Whether the wardrobe be composed of made-to-order, made-at-home, or ready-to-wear garments, must be decided by the individual spender.
Made-to-order garments are expensive; one pays for good materials, and also for the time and skill of the workers engaged upon them, therefore the number of these must necessarily be limited for a moderate income, if any at all be purchased.
Ready-to-wear garments are better cut and better made than formerly, and as the number of medium priced well cut garments is increasing it is possible to supplement the garments made at home with the ready-to-wear which are attractive, of good quality, and within the limit of the purse. If need be, the entire wardrobe can be chosen from well-selected stocks of ready-to-wear garments. This requires skill on the part of the purchaser to judge of the quality of the fabric and the price as well as suitability to the wearer.
Garments made at home are a great saving of income, and are desirable for the high school or college girl, the home woman, and the woman in business, because, not having to pay so much for the making, more can be expended on a better grade of material, which insures longer service. They can often be made by some member of the family, part of whose time may be given up to this; the efforts of this worker may be supplemented by those of the wearer, in odd minutes or vacation time. Busy, overworked mothers should not be further burdened with the task of making many garments, nor should the girl at school or college, nor the woman in business be pressed with work of this sort in her leisure hours, but a bit of sewing kept at hand to be picked up during a chat with the casual visitor, on rainy evenings, or when one feels in the mood for it, will not fatigue the worker, but will do wonders in the amount of work accomplished. It is the knowing how that counts alike to the school or college girl, the business woman, or the woman of leisure who may wish to direct her seamstress or engage in philanthropic work in which the teacher who knows how is an inspiration to her class.
At the close of each season, when garments are to be put away for future wear, all outer-garments should be carefully brushed, aired, folded and wrapped in paper or cloth to keep out dust, and in the case of woolen garments, with camphor balls inside the wrappings to protect from moths. When garments are badly soiled, they should be cleansed before putting away, either by a professional cleaner or one's self. All undergarments should be washed and mended if necessary. They will then be ready for wear on the first warm or cold days of the following season. If one be fortunate enough to have a large dark closet, all woolen or fur garments may be hung on garment hooks and covered with moth-proof paper bags.
Garments showing possibilities of reconstruction for one's self or another member of the family, should be ripped and brushed, or cleansed, and then pressed, ready for the remodelling process. Worn and unsuitable garments, if not beyond repair and future service, but past service for one's self, may be cleansed, and passed on to some charitable organization which will look after their repair or reconstruction, before giving them over to those in less fortunate circumstances. A list of all garments to be kept should be made with notes of the possibility of further service or reconstruction; this should be kept where it may be easily found when the time for planning reconstruction is at hand. A list of necessary garments to be purchased should then be made, and approximate amount to be spent apportioned, with a balance to provide for repairs and cleansing.
Each garment in one's wardrobe, or the materials for its construction, should be selected with the following consideration: 1. The need for its purchase; 2. The use to which it must be put; 3. Its durability; 4. Its suitability to the wearer; 5. Its cost in relation to the allowance.