The Travelling Wardrobe - Dresses Needed by the Bride While Away - Trifles that
The length of the honeymoon varies so much that its duration has to be considered in the matter of packing.
Suppose that a fortnight should be arranged for the trip, the amount of luggage need not be very great. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the bride will wish to wear some of her very daintiest and prettiest new clothes during the first weeks of her married life, and she will not be satisfied with a very small quantity of luggage. It is a good plan to make out, two or three weeks beforehand, a list of the articles she may intend to take, and to put opposite each the description of the box in which it is to be packed. This list can be pasted afterwards in the lid of the box, so that directly it is opened the bride can refer to the list and see if what she wants is in that box or another.
This plan averts loss of time (and occasionally temper) in travelling. The only thing is to remember, when putting the various articles back, to arrange each in the box assigned to it. This is important, especially when the honeymoon is passed in touring, and unpacking and repacking are done daily - sometimes in a great hurry.
Lady's maids see to all this for the bride, valets for the bridegroom, but it is only a minority who own these serviceable appendages.
By far the most convenient receptacles for luggage are those introduced into this country from the United States, among scores of other ingenious and time-saving inventions. I refer to the wardrobe trunks which are fitted with hangers, by means of which the gowns can be hung up on sliding racks, each on its own hook. When this trunk is stood on end it affords a lock-up wardrobe which guarantees security against hotel thieves. Gowns, petticoats, etc., hang in their natural folds and cannot get creased.
Then there is the trunk fitted with a number of drawers, and sometimes with a hat-box as well, capable of holding five or six hats. This cleverly constructed trunk is also stood up on the narrow end and is as good as a chest of drawers. It is an excellent plan to label each one, the lower for petticoats, with lingerie above it, then blouses, then shoes, and stockings; above them, veils and gloves, lace, neckwear, etc. It will be seen at once how convenient these trunks are. Some of them are made of birch, others with a strong steel frame covered with leather, and again others of compressed wood fibre, covered with waterproof canvas and extremely fight. All the various patterns of trunks made of compressed cane are remarkably strong and can be obtained at prices to suit all purses.
One of the trunks in this material travelled from London all round the World, being in continual use the whole time, and also during a further six months, occupied in touring through France and Italy. After all this wear and tear the only repair needed was where one of the leather-bound corners had suffered from contact with the dilapidated iron corners of another.
Dresses Needed by the Bride while Away
Provided with a wardrobe trunk and a drawer trunk, the packing becomes a simple matter. The only difficulty is to choose what to take out of the abundant supply of the trousseau. The going-away gown is useful for ceremonious occasions, and a smart but useful " tailor-made " is necessary. In winter a warm coat, and possibly furs, must be taken. In summer a light dustcoat, and a rather heavier one for wearing in wet weather or on chilly days.
A nice rest-gown for wearing at breakfast or tea must not be omitted. It takes the place of the tea-gown, so indispensable to the nineteenth century bride. Two or three hats should be taken, the one worn for " going away," a second pretty one, a bad-weather toque, and a shady hat. These are easily packed in the up-to-date hatbox with its trusses, to which the hat may be pinned.
It is well to have a good supply of veils and gloves, and also some of the dainty blouses and neckwear belonging to the trousseau. Plenty of tissue paper, into which to pin the veils and blouses, should not be forgotten.
Four gowns, four hats, a couple of coats, should suffice for a fortnight's honeymoon. A pair of stout boots should supplement the usual footgear - viz., a pair of brown or cream-coloured shoes, two pairs of black, a pair for house wear, and, finally, bath slippers.
A nice dressing-gown is one of the necessaries. In hotels the bathroom is often at some distance along the corridor from one's bedroom, and one Would not care to encounter the outer world in an ugly, depressed-looking gown such as are to be seen in their disconsolate thousands in the smaller shops. Get a good, serviceable dressing-gown, it will repay you.
Advice as to sponges, brushes, and other toilet necessaries is probably superfluous. They are sometimes forgotten at the last moment; and among the minor miseries of existence is the absent toothbrush - missing usually on a Sunday when the shops are all shut.
The practical bride who has travelled, and therefore knows how hard a thing it is at some hotels to get her boots back from being cleaned, will pack up one of those compact little boxes, which contain all that is necessary for shoe-cleaning - a small but hard brush for getting rid of the mud, paste, a cloth for applying it, and a soft pad for polishing. These are supplied for tan-coloured shoes as well as black.
A boot-case made of strong linen is a useful thing to take. Each pocket holds a pair of boots and shoes, and the whole packs away at the bottom of a trunk. This plan deprives the bride of any excuse for wandering round the room, wondering where to find her shoes.
The nightgown satchel with its relations, those for gloves, handkerchiefs and veils, need only a word of reminder to recall their great utility.