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.
Silk umbrellas do not give long service for school or business use. There are various other coverings of cotton mixtures which are not unattractive, but are serviceable; union is the least expensive, gloria a better grade, but slightly more expensive. Silk is more expensive, but is more attractive, less bulky and can be had in colors, - dark blue, red or purple, - which brighten a dull or rainy day. Natural wood handles well finished, are the most pleasing and satisfactory. A colored silk umbrella is more attractive if but one can be afforded for both sun and rain.
Handbags for everyday use should be of good leather, well lined, containing purse and other suitable fittings. They should be of convenient size, with handle through which one can slip her arm and hold the bag securely. The catch should be strong and not easily opened. The color of the bag, if other than black, should harmonize with the costume.
These garments may all be made to individual measure or be purchased ready-to-wear. If made by the small neighborhood tailor whose work is sometimes very good, the cost would be about the same as the ready-to-wear garment, allowing for possible alterations. The custom tailor in shopping districts would charge a more prohibitive price.
The selection of hats is one of the most critical features of the clothing process. Hats, shoes, and gloves are the points of a woman's costume which most quickly offend or gratefully please the eyes of the beholder. It has been said, let the eye rest upon a becoming hat and it matters little to the beholder what the gown beneath may be. While this statement is not quite true, much truth lies therein; we get an impression of the whole but the eye does linger at the point of greatest interest, and if that point happens to be a becoming hat, the impression lasts. It is desirable to wear the suit or gown with which the hat is to be worn when making a choice.
Another point to remember, is not to try to buy a hat when one has shopped about all day. Go fresh to the task; do not hurry or be over-persuaded. Seek the saleswoman who leaves you alone with the hat and your reflection in the mirror until you have had time to "make up your own mind." Many things should be considered when purchasing a hat: Colors unbecoming when worn under the face, may often be attractive when worn above. The shape of the hat should be in harmony with the contour of the head and face, and the style of dressing the hair; its size should be in proportion to the size of the head, and in relation to the natural method of dressing the hair. The weight of the hat should be, or seem to be, easily borne by the head upon which it is worn; its Style must suit the poise of the head, and withal, the wearer should, if possible, see the effect of the whole costume in a full-length mirror, with front, side and back views of the hat, before making a final choice.