The well-dressed woman is always suitably clad. Dress may be beautiful, costly, and becoming, but if it is not suited to the particular occasion or season in which it is worn it has not fulfilled its chief requirement.
Many people, however give considerable thought to their dress for morning or evening wear, yet will not trouble as to its suitability to the different seasons. They do not, perhaps, feel heat or cold very acutely, and will, therefore, wear heavy serges in summer, or thin, flimsy garments in winter, quite regardless of the effect of their appearance on other people.
Our changeable climate may be responsible for this. We make preparations for a hot summer which never comes, or for a cold winter which turns out mild and foggy, yet there is a style of dress suitable for each season which need not involve our being either baked or frozen.
Choice of Colours
Much may be done by a careful choice of colours.
Warm browns and various shades of red are, of course, particularly adapted to winter wear, but there are many whom these colours do not suit. They should choose instead warm shades of different colours - dark blue, inclining to purple rather than indigo ; greys, with a tone of heliotrope in them;or mole colour, which inclines to pink or brown rather than green. Colour has a much greater effect on our feelings than we always realise, and in cold, cheerless weather to wear cold shades of colour is to affect everyone with a disagreeable sensation of chilliness.
For a long time white was not considered winter wear, but it has become much more general. Though not warm-looking in itself, it does not absorb the light, and therefore has always a cheerful appearance. But it should be a warm, creamy white, not a blue-white ; and the material should be a warm one, such as velvet, wool, or fur.
Sometimes a cold-coloured costume can be made to look warm and suitable for winter by the judicious admixture of warm colours in the trimming; a waistcoat or blouse of some brilliant tint can be worn with it, or a touch of warm colour in the hat. Many charming combinations can be obtained in this way.
The materials of which winter clothes are made should be light as well as warm, as heavy clothing impedes the circulation. All wool materials are the lightest, and wear the best; they keep their colour, and do not look shabby so soon as those made of a mixture of wool and cotton.
Serges and tweeds should be employed for coats and skirts for hard wear. A good Harris tweed, tailor-made, is practically everlasting, and for the country and hard wear is excellent. When something a little smarter is required, vicuna, Venetian, or faced cloth can be worn ; also velveteen, plain or corduroy. This last has a delightful appearance, particularly when worn with good furs.
Velvet is an ideal material for winter wear, and is both warm and becoming. Bands of fur as a trimming for velvet are both charming and appropriate.
Whole dresses for indoor wear, made in velveteen, embroidered cashmere, etc., can be bought ready made quite reasonably, and often very little alteration is needed to adapt them to the individual wearer.
The wearing of transparent lace yokes and collars to such gowns is a pretty and practical fashion that is not likely to fall into disuse, but in very cold weather such wear is decidedly chilly. There are, however,under-bodices to be had, made of palest pink or cream silk and wool, which do not show when worn under the lace, and yet are quite capable of keeping off the sudden chill which is so apt to eventuate in pneumonia.
For morning wear, shirt blouses of coloured flannels, washing silk, and nuns'- veiling are pretty, comfortable, and good style.
The custom of wearing old afternoon dresses in the morning should be banned by every well-dressed woman. A well-cut shirt, with - collar and tie, and a tailor-made skirt of tweed or serge is an ideal morning costume, for an
Englishwoman, at all events.
Thick tweed or serge skirts do not require a lining, but a skirt of thinner material may be made much warmer by the addition of a lining of silk or silkette.
The tweed or frieze cloth coat which is required for really cold weather should always be lined, either with silk, satin, or sateen. However thick the frieze or tweed may be, the wind has power to pierce through it, but the lining will prevent its reaching the wearer. Many of these coats are made so that they can be worn either open or closed over the chest, and with a turned-down or stand-up collar. (See illustration).
Long fur coats and fur-lined cloaks should not be worn for walking ; their weight makes them quite unsuitable, though they are excellent for motoring and driving. Short fur coats are less weighty, but are apt to make the wearer very susceptible to cold. It is far healthier to wear a moderately warm coat, with a stole or pelerine of fur, which can be easily thrown off on entering a warm atmosphere.
A winter costume which is both smart and sensible. The touches of braiding and the use of fur are additions which lend the costume its distinctive appear' ance