This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
The fashion of attire is a question of the passing day; its aesthetics is a question of the ages. Persons of taste will avoid the ridiculous, whatever may be the demands of fashion, yet will not vary so far from the prevailing custom in dress as to expose themselves to ridicule from singularity.
Dress has in it some of the essentials of the fine arts, and to be well dressed requires other requisites than the possession of wealth and a good figure. Good taste and refinement stand first; all other essentials come second. To dress well, the qualities of color, harmony, and contrast need to be observed, and a trained and artistic eye is as essential as a sensible and well-balanced mind. Dress, to be in good taste, by no means needs to be costly. Fit, proportion, and harmony in shade and color are the objects to be observed, and while there should be a reasonable consideration of the dictates of fashion, no person of sense will follow fashion blindly, to the neglect of the essentials of adaptation to figure, face, and occupation.