This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
Suit your dresses to the occasions upon which they are to be used. In the morning, at home, a lady may wear a loose, flowing dress, made high in the neck, with a belt at the waist, and with loose sleeves fastened at the wrist. On the street a walking-costume should be worn, and the dress should clear the ground. There is nothing more disgusting than to see a rich dress sweeping up the dirt and filth of the street.
Fashion seems to decree this at the present time, with the ungraceful result of seeing nine women out of ten awkwardly holding up their skirts. The tenth sensibly ignores fashion in favor of comfort.
The shoes for the street should be high, warm, and easy to the feet, with a low, broad heel, and should be always neatly blackened. For ordinary street wear a lady may use either a hat or a bonnet. This is a matter of taste. In the dress of ladies great latitude is allowed; but the aim of all who aspire to be well dressed should be simplicity and taste, the character of the occasion being always carefully considered. Latitude or great variety in dress is no longer thought original, and startling innovations are dangerous experiments. With artistic taste they may prove a success, but are much more likely to be a failure.
It is important that a lady should always dress neatly at home. She is then ready to receive a morning caller without having to change her dress. She should change her dress for the evening. Some neat and dainty costume should be worn, according to her taste, for it is in the evening that she is thrown most with the male members of her family, and is most likely to have visitors. In making evening calls upon her friends, a lady should wear a hood, or some light head-wrap easily laid aside. A bonnet should always be removed at the commencement of such a visit.