This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
Some one says that " as a work of art a veil-dressed woman is a study." The toilette of such a person is always well chosen, with consideration of its purpose, and is always adapted to the situation, whether it be breakfast-room or ball-room, promenade or reception. If she loves bright colors, and they agree with her complexion, they will be as harmoniously arranged as the tints of an artist. If subdued colors are demanded, she will not let any desire for display lead her into the use of garish tints. If she is young, her dress will be youthful; if she is old, it will avoid showiness. She will always rather follow than lead the prevailing fashion, and in no event will permit the costume of the day to lead her into violation of good taste and common sense.
The golden rule in dress is to avoid extremes. To affect peculiarities of costume shows a lack of good taste, while it is not less unwise to follow fashions which are unbecoming to the special person. Ladies who are neither very young nor very attractive in appearance will do best to wear quiet colors and simple styles; while those who are not rich can always appear tastefully dressed, if they exercise care in the choice, and display skill and judgment in the arrangement of materials. A dressmaker of good taste is an essential to good dressing. The dressmaker is a woman's good or evil genius, and may do much to make or mar her position in social circles.