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.
Incomes are earned through the labor of the member, or members, of a family upon whom this responsibility falls; they are spent by the earner, or some member of the family upon whom the business of spending devolves. Planning for wise expenditure of income presents one of the most important economic and household problems of the day.
Upon woman, the chief spender, depends the wise or unwise apportionment of the income to the various needs of the family, - shelter, food, clothing, etc. The girl of to-day, whether or not her future sphere of activity shall lie in the field of business, teaching, or home-making, must assume her share of responsibility in the business of spending either her own income, or that of others. Whether or not she performs her part wisely depends somewhat upon the equipment furnished her by home and school.
Abundant opportunity to learn to become a wise spender awaits her in the field of clothing. It is possible for her to provide for herself and others, for whom she may have need to buy, suitable wearing apparel that will not deplete the purse, yet give joy and satisfaction to the wearer. When purchasing ready-to-wear garments, she should be able to judge of them as regards their (1) durability and the quality of the materials of which they are made; (2) their suitability to occasion and wearer; (3) the becomingness of color and line, and (4) the price in relation to her allowance. If the allowance permits made-to-order garments, she should be able to make her own selection of materials and designs for the garments, and calculate approximately, at least, the cost of the making, in addition to the price of the materials. The same is true of the young woman who may make, in whole or in part, the garments she wears.
To become a master workman in the art of clothing herself and others, wisely and well, the young woman should have an interest in the industries concerned in the making of women's apparel, in the production and preparation of the fibers of which the materials are made, the manufacture of the fabrics, and the construction of the garments themselves. She should become familiar with the principles of design which relate to clothing, and through the study of artistic forms in sculpture, painting and historic costume, learn to choose for herself and others, colors, lines and shapes that are becoming. Add to this, technical skill in clothing design, in the manipulation of fabrics in draping, or in the cutting of cloth by pattern, and in the use of needles, pins and shears in the construction of garments, and her equipment will be complete.