This section is from the book "Clothing And Health. An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne. Also available from Amazon: Clothing And Health.
What can you learn about the care and arrangement of your hair. Do you know how to choose a hat ?
Jane Smith says that some day she expects to be a milliner. Perhaps she will be. Miss James says she can later go to a school and study millinery. This means that Jane will learn not only how to make hats, but about the right lines and colors to use. Jane has a natural deftness of touch and a good idea about copying and designing ; so Miss James thinks she will make a good milliner. So often hats are unbecoming because the colors are inharmonious, or the lines out of relation to the face wearing them. Whether one is old or young, one should think about this.
Give some care and thought to your hair. One day when Miss Travers came from the State College to speak to the Mothers' Clubs, she stopped at the school and gave a talk to the girls of Pleasant Valley School about their hair and hats. She said that so many women and girls forget to take care of their hair. It should be washed once a month in hot water with cas-tile soap and perhaps with the white of an egg, and then thoroughly rinsed. The comb and brush should be washed once a week. Marjorie Allen's mother has beautiful hair, and she says she does as Miss Travers told the girls; and also she brushes her hair carefully to remove dust, every night before going to bed, and braids her hair in two braids for the night. This is a very good way to care for one's hair.
Have you ever noticed how some girls nearly lose all their hair because they burn it or dry it up with the curling irons? One should be very careful always to test the irons on a paper. Burned hair is not beautiful. So often girls forget that the becomingness of a hat will depend on the way the hair is taken care of or dressed.
Large bows, out of proportion to the size of the head, are very poor taste. A bow as well as a hat should suit the face in line as well as color, and a bow which stands way out in conspicuous angles is not good in line, as it is not apt to conform to the lines of the face and of the head wearing it. Have you noticed this?
Fig. 137. - Which arrangement of hair and bow do you think most appropriate for school wear ?
Perhaps you can try to rearrange some of the bows the girls are wearing to school so they will be in better taste. Cleanliness of the head and hair, and a clean, clear complexion, which comes from proper food and good digestion as well as from cleanliness, are the best backgrounds for a hat. Any girl who has this charm of cleanliness can with thought choose a hat which will be becoming. Hats, also, emphasize the defects as well as the good points of the wearer; so neatness and a becoming way of arranging the hair will help very much. Perhaps some of the girls would like to learn to make hats, too. The hat is the most difficult article of the whole wardrobe to select. Most girls and women wear hats that are too small and that stand on the top of the head instead of fitting it. Good taste, Miss James says, in choosing hats means the very thing we have studied about: artistic appreciation, a knowledge of line and color and form as well as appropriateness.
Think about the shape and the lines of a hat. Hats should be chosen or planned, if one is making them, in relation to the whole figure. Do you stand up or sit down before the mirror in selecting a hat? Try standing up so you can see your whole figure and the relation of the hat to the whole. You can tell then if the hat is too large or too small, whether it overbalances the figure, or if the silhouette will be pleasing.. Marjorie Allen says since she has learned about these things she is surprised to notice how few people have thought of this question of the silhouette. Sometimes, the milliners are to blame too, for they do not always know this secret. Marjorie says her new winter hat does not please her because of the silhouette.
Miss Travers told the girls to think especially about lines. The round-faced girl whose nose turns up a little will look best in a hat that is slightly tilted in front or with a rolling brim at the side or front. Barbara Oakes says she discovered that for herself. She had two hats which rolled in that way; and she liked them better and was more comfortable in them than in others. She also learned through experience that she did not look well in narrow hats that bend over the face. Miss Travers says it is true when one's face is full and the nose retrousse, that such a shape is not apt to be becoming.
Miss James says she noticed that long, thin faces look longer and thinner in high pointed trimmings. What kind of trimming, then, would you recommend for a long, thin face? For long faces, a brim worn slightly forward will cast a shadow and so tend to shorten the length of the face; and brims that are rolling and wide, counteract the effect of the long, thin face. Do you see how very important it is to study the face and its lines?
Fig. 138. - One can select a hat which will make a good silhouette when one sees the whole figure before a mirror.
The way of dressing one's hair may make it difficult to choose a hat. If the person with the long, thin face also draws back her hair sharply at the sides, her face will look longer and it will be more difficult to choose a hat for such a face. If the hair is worn very fluffy when one has a very round, full face, then the face is apt to look fuller. So you see hairdressing is very important to study too, if a girl is to look her best and choose the most becoming hats.
Color, too, should be kept in mind. Some skins are pale; others are rosy. Black makes the complexion look white and should not be worn next to a dark, swarthy skin. Browns are apt to look well with auburn hair like Jane Alden's. She has such a clear complexion. Barbara's mother, Mrs. Oakes, with gray eyes and hair, will look well in gray.
We have studied about contrasting colors. The contrasting colors for a person with light hair will be quite different from the colors for a person with auburn hair. Notice what is said in the lesson about color in selection of dress. This is true of hats too.
Select a hat that is becoming. In choosing hats aim always to get what is becoming to you and your style rather than the extremes of fashion. The latest styles can always be adapted to suit your style if a milliner knows her business.
Remember that very often hats are not becoming because they are not worn properly. Sometimes the wearer forgets and pushes the hat back or to one side ; and then its lines do not conform to the outline of hair and head and face. Study how to wear your hats. Large hats are often difficult to wear because of correct balance.
Fig. 139. - Which way looks better?
If you would like to try to make a simple summer hat, perhaps you can buy a frame, and with your teacher's help learn to change and adapt it to your face. It is easy to learn to sew straw on a frame and to trim with a bow or flowers. Simple trimming for young girls is always the most pleasing; flowers, wings, quills, and simple bows are the most suitable.
1. What things will you have in mind when you go to the milliner's to select a new hat, or to have your old hat remodeled?
Write a list of the principal points to be kept in mind in choosing.
2. Bring to school pictures of hats adapted to faces; some that are not. You can find these in old fashion magazines; perhaps in old portraits. Pin them on your classroom Bulletin Board. Criticize. Your teacher will probably have some too. Why is this a good subject to study ?