Overalls - Warm Long Coats - Shoes - Hosiery
In addition to the coat-and-skirt costume, a long, warm coat of blanket cloth or lightweight all-wool tweed, in some neutral shade, will be found thoroughly practical for early spring or holiday wear, and, in effect, to serve as a protection in rainy weather. Such a coat, made with a collar that can be turned up close to the throat at will, is warm and cosy for the coldest days in the variable English climate. If liked, the collar can be covered with an inexpensive soft fur, such as opossum, but by many the wearing of fur is considered to be weakening to the throat.
A rainproof long coat is almost a necessity, as undoubtedly rain spoils a costume more effectually than weeks of ordinary wear in dry weather. Nowadays a rain-cloak does not mean an ugly garment that envelops the wearer as in a shapeless sack, but, thanks to the modern cut, can be as smart and shapely as any other article of attire. Such a garment can be of rainproof cloth or mackintosh, according to individual preference.
If the dress allowance permits, a loose, thin cloth or serge coat is a valuable possession for occasional wear in spring and autumn or cool summer days, and should not be regarded as an extravagance.
Boots and shoes are, perhaps, the most important items of a business woman's outfit, and if not thoroughly weather-proof may affect her health very seriously, for she often has to spend the day without changing them. Be careful, therefore, that they are made of good leather, not of poor materials.
Footgear should be bought on a systematic plan, and new obtained before that in wear is worn out. This may mean a rather large initial outlay, but once it is surprising how long the shoes will 1ast, if the newer pair be worn on fine days or interchangeably with the older. Two pa: of outdoor shoes, at least, should be in use at one time, but three pairs is not an extravagant allowance. Some excellent boot manufacturers hold periodical sales, at which it is really advantageous to buy, even if the goods are not required for immediate wear, as leather improves by keeping a reasonable time. A slight rub now and again with preservative polish or a touch of castor oil will keep it soft and pliant, and add to the waterproof qualities of the footwear.
Glace or box calf, with or without patent leather toecaps, are good wearing leathers, but a shoe made entirely of patent leather is not to be altogether recommended for wearing all day.
At the first sign of wear, heels should be made up to their original height (as nothing looks worse than a heel worn down on one side), and the shoes sent for re-soling when necessary. Good shoes will always bear soling and heeling at least once, and in some instances twice.
If high boots are preferred, they should be changed for shoes in the office, for hygienic, as well as for economical, reasons.
Boots or shoes should on no account be so tight as to cramp the foot, nor should the heels be narrow and high. Once a good model from a well-shaped last has been found to suit the individual foot, an endeavour should be made to buy that make always . It will be far more comfortable to wear one shape than make the foot accommodate itself to varying shapes.
Rubber overshoes are a boon to the woman who has to go out in all weathers, and may be had in various styles, particularly nice shapes coming well over the instep, with a strap to pass over the heel at the back, so that it is not in the least clumsy, yet keeps the foot perfectly dry.
The hosiery worn should be, except in the hottest season, of wool, and of sufficient substance to keep the feet comfortably warm. Thin openwork stockings, worn regardless of the prevailing weather, are often the unsuspected cause of chills and other ills.
To be continued.