Cloaks {or Different Purses and Purposes - On the Choice of Materials - A Black Satin Model - Mantles that Copy Historical Garments - Fashions that Remain Fashionable - The Red Riding-hood Design - The Mother Hubbard, Claddagh, and "Bonne Femme" Cloaks - Presents from the East - How Best to Utilise Them

The essential quality of the evening cloak that is to be worn during a longdistance drive over a full-dress toilette on a cold winter's night is that it be very warm and very light in weight. The heavier furs that are suitable for the car in the daytime are not suitable at night, because they would crush a fragile gown.

Sable, chinchilla, and ermine are glorious possibilities to the few who can afford to pay the increasingly high prices charged for them, but pony, or any heavy skin of the kind, though ideal for day wear, is not advisable at night.

The snowy whiteness of ermine is perfectly in accord with the delicacy of an evening toilette, and the way in which it is being arranged now for the motor wrap has a pleasant hint of the practical in it. A broad band of black fur is added as a hem to the coat, thereby keeping any chance of smirch and dirt from the white pelt whilst its wearer ascends and descends from her car. As for the animals' tails, they may be employed as a powdering, but are also used to form a fashionable fringe falling over the shoulders like epaulets, and to edge the sleeves, which should be very wide and have big "mouths." This is an essential point in all evening coats so that there be no crushing of the dress beneath, and is particularly important in connection with fur.

One point the designers of evening mantles keep prominently in their minds, whether they are thinking of the requirements of the wealthy woman or the one of very moderate means, and that is not to " date " their garments. A full-dress cloak is not the type of possession that is worn with the frequency of a dress, and therefore it would be unwise to impress it with the passing whim of the hour, unless it were in such a manner that it could be altered easily, and have its place supplied by some newer fancy.

Two most fashionable fabrics in use are plush and brocade, and neither the one nor the other will decline from the favour of the elect in a hurry. Plush has returned to vogue this winter with all the vigour it possessed a while ago; and as for brocade, it enters upon a second season of renown with every chance of adding in the future to the honours it already possesses.

The colours that are popular to-day will be popular to-morrow, and so will the trimmings and linings. A certain beautiful pomegranate red, a rich bronze green, the bright and regal blue known as Royal, such greys as sphynx, cloud, and steel, are a more economical choice, be the materials chosen what they may, than white, cream, and pearl. And, moreover, they are more modish, excepting for the debutante and the bride, in whose trousseau a white evening mantle should find a place, as the covering of the wedding-gown, when it is worn at the entertainments given in her honour after her marriage.

The Black Evening Cloak

But now let us dwell a little upon the manifest advantages of a black evening cloak, which is, after all, the best stand-by a woman can possess. It should be made of a good material, and therefore it is worth purchasing something handsome, because the garment is to last a long time. Brocade with a large and handsome pattern upon it - brocade, that is to say, of the "furniture" order so well approved for frocks as well as mantles - is an excellent resource. Un-patterned satin is almost better for the coat that is to be " undated," and there is also stamped velvet to remember. As black plush is apt to become rather dowdy-looking, it should give way before other attractions. But black miroir velvet and panne are very rich and desirable.

To add distinction to a black garment of any kind should always be the care of the designer, since otherwise it will be but a dull friend. To do so in the case of a black evening mantle is easy enough, both with respect to the lining and to the outside.

The Value Of Contrasts

Nothing would look more splendid than a black satin or brocade coat with a broad band of gold lace, dividing the coat in two as it were, by being placed round the hips. In many of their most successful devices, the mantle-makers use materials of absolutely alien appearance for their purpose. And why not in this case ? Black brocade could be used for the upper half of the wrap and black panne for the lower, with a dividing line of gold lace, or gold net wrought with coloured silks in the Indian manner, interspersed with handsome jewels, such as turquoise, moonstone, topaz, emerald, and ruby. Or we might turn to account white or cream lace of a handsome heavy description. This, and the other materials mentioned, the clever shopper will find on the bargain counters of great establishments, where silk and trimming sales are frequent.

An evening coat of the Burgomaster type is designed on very simple lines, and is easy to fit. The coat on the right illustrates the use of brocade in conjunction with wide, richly patterned lace and deep bands of fur

An evening coat of the Burgomaster type is designed on very simple lines, and is easy to fit. The coat on the right illustrates the use of brocade in conjunction with wide, richly patterned lace and deep bands of fur

The Importance Of The Lining

And now for the lining - a most important item, especially with the black coat in immediate view. Abjuring the beautiful but perishable chiffon or lace, if economy be an object, it will be well to choose the old-fashioned quilted silk should the mantle be chosen for very cold weather wear. Next to fur, nothing is more cosy. Otherwise, the selection may well fall upon a thin brocade or a plain satin. In any case, let the colour scheme lend distinction to the ebon exterior. A vivid green or a brilliant purple will act like a charm in the task of giving brightness to a black coat, and if at the moment purple be the approved choice, there is this much to be said for green, that it never goes out of fashion. Only see that it is the right shade - namely, the full tint called emerald. Perchance there may be an opportunity in this direction to make manifest a touch of reciprocity between the toilette and the coat. Perhaps the dress may be of a soft and becoming shade of rose, of blue, or of gold, or there may be trimmings of those shades, in which case they should be repeated in the lining of the coat. I have seen and admired more than once the excellent effect of grey as a lining to black, especially when jewelled lace has entered into the design, cream or ecru in tint for preference, with low-tone gems to decorate it, such as moonstones or topaz, and here and there a blazing emerald. It is a quaint conceit to trim the lining of a coat with the hipband of lace I have described already as an exterior decoration, and well worth while to think of these little exclusive touches - this is one of a very clever Parisian maker - which look so effective when the wrap is flung back over a chair at a restaurant or at the theatre.

The Burgomaster Coat

In the most exclusive and beauty-loving centres of the modes there is another fabric that is deemed very fashionable for the evening cloak. This is tapestry, a curtain fabric made of wool, and much less costly than velvet or silk. An exceedingly handsome Burgomaster coat can be made of it, richly furred about the collar and cuffs, copied from the pictures of old painters even to its colour. Such coats are designed on very simple lines, and are very easy in fit. The collar is of the loose, broad type, and the sleeves have very wide " mouths." Fur edgings are given to the fronts and hems of such coats in many cases, thus increasing their sumptuous beauty, and a brown pelt is used in keeping with the style of the coat.

There is everything to be said for the evening mantle that copies, with the necessary modifications, some national, historical, martial, or pictorial design. No pattern has ever been more successful for the little girl than the good old-fashioned Red Riding-hood one. Generation after generation of children wear it, made of cashmere, wool-backed satin, or reefer - now, of course called ratine - and the small girls look as bonny as can be with the characteristic hoods pulled over their curls, framing the little faces so winsomely.

The edging for the Red Riding-hood model is traditionally swansdown. Fur, too, is employed, and sometimes there is a silken ruche. But in a great many instances there is no trimming at all.

Pictorial Designs

Then there is the Mother Hubbard model, which is extremely attractive made with a gauged yoke, from which the material falls in comfortable folds; a homely pattern, but one that can be developed very inexpensively in faced cloth or cashmere.

The Irish " claddagh " cloak is of an enveloping pattern, less convenient perhaps on that account for those who travel by train to evening entertainments than a coat with sleeves. The same criticism applies to the French "bonne femme" model, which is of the same calibre, and of perennial popularity.

There are, too, many available models with sleeves that also recall an historic or military pattern. There is, for example, the Austrian military coat with a high collar-band faced with velvet and overlaid with gold embroidery, a model that looks extremely well carried out in fine serge or face cloth of a pale-blue or soldier-grey shade.

Embroideries from Japan

One of the most effective mantles seen recently was made of bandana silk, half of it the characteristic red-brown shade and the other half stencilled with a pattern in which green figured largely. The patterned part was used for the top of the mantle, and the plain for the under half. There was no definite fit about the garment, which might best be described as a scarf, for the silk was folded about the figure in cocoon fashion/and one could imagine it as originally merely a very long and very broad length of fabric.

Another magnificent cloak, and by no means a very costly one, was made of brilliant purple satin with a stencilled end, the heavy black pattern of which was outlined with gold braid. The mantle was designed in such a way that the arms were free, although there were no sleeves. One end was thrown over the left shoulder in the Spanish manner, thereby protecting the lungs from chill, and producing a most artistic impression.

Happy is the woman who receives from Japan or China a coat embroidered after the fashion of those lands with sprays of cherry blossom, chrysanthemums, or the characteristic dragon and tortoise designs.

Such coats make perfect evening wraps, and may be trimmed to advantage with deep fringe, if of the Chinese persuasion. Some owners of silks so beautiful as these do not despise a fur lining for them in the winter, and even hem the edges with bands of peltry.

Plain satin evening coat, trimmed with ermine and wide Oriental embroidery. The sleeves are large, to allow the coat to be slipped over the gown without crushing it

Plain satin evening coat, trimmed with ermine and wide Oriental embroidery. The sleeves are large, to allow the coat to be slipped over the gown without crushing it