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.
Buy hosiery of the best wearing quality the allowance permits, of proper size (many buy too short a length), and of sufficient number to admit of daily changes, in order to save strain of wear. Find standard makes the colors of which will not fade or crock, and which have good wearing quality.
Knitted underwear, in cotton, wool or silk, is to be had in one-or two-piece suits. The one-piece suit is to be recommended as less bulky. The choice of fiber depends upon one's idea of comfort and of the necessity of economy. The kind of garment may be left to individual taste, as the expense is about the same for one- or two-piece garments. Silk and wool approximate each other more in price; cotton, which is much less expensive, is to be recommended for economy in frequent laundering.
Corsets should be bought where attention is given to careful fitting, unless one can afford to have them made to order. They should be soft and pliable, admitting free movement of the body, and comfort whether standing or sitting. Few bones are necessary for slight figures; heavier boning but not too stiff, for stout figures.
Individual taste and comfort must guide the buyer of shoes in making her purchases. Do not try to economize foolishly in this direction. Choose shops in which intelligence directs the fitting of the foot. Find the type of shoe that, for constant wear, gives the most comfort (which type need not make the foot look ugly), and stick to that type, with its variations for dress occasions or for service. Wear a broad toe if that fits the foot; high heels are not desirable for regular wear. Do not wear anything that is uncomfortable - you can obey this rule and still clothe the feet in good-looking shoes. Have an extra pair to change about for daily use; this rests the feet and prolongs the life of the shoes. Keep shoe-trees within the shoes when not in use; this adds to their length of service. Overshoes should fit the shoes upon which they are worn.
Sweaters for hard service are better made of wool. Attractive sport garments are made of fiber silk, bringing the cost within the limits of a purse which could not contemplate a silk sweater.
Inexpensive handkerchiefs of linen can be found in special sales. One should have a plenty and a few "Sunday best" beside, to help keep one fresh and trim in matters of small detail.
In the matter of gloves, it is not always wise to accept the product of the special sales; at sales, buy only standard makes that are specially priced. If one has short- and long-sleeved summer garments, both long and short silk gloves will be needed. Buy only good silk gloves, they repay in their length of service. Have kid gloves tried on in the store; a flaw may then appear which will save an extra trip to return the same. Heavy kid gloves for winter wear should be easy in fit, else the hands become cold. Double cotton gloves in white or colors are inexpensive compared with kid, because one can wash them daily, and they are warm enough for winter wear.