One can at least dress characteristically, and so bring out the ideals to which one gives adherence.
One should always have the appearance of being "well-groomed." It is a minor matter to add to habits of personal cleanliness, which every man and woman of refinement adheres to with scrupulous conscientiousness, that attention to the little details and finishing touches of dressing, which give the impression conveyed in that graphic expression "well-groomed." The niceties of life are always matters of small care but great moment.
The aim to be beautiful is a legitimate one, and worthy of the attention of every lover of beauty. To make the most of one's self, both for one's own sake and that of those about one, is a duty. Much can be done if good taste is consulted, and one's salient good points studied and emphasized. One can at least dress characteristically, and so bring out the ideals to which one gives adherence.
For instance, the business woman, in business hours, dresses with that same effort after efficiency and economy of time and strength that she has to put into her business to make it successful. She is, therefore, besides being scrupulously neat, perfectly plainly and yet durably and comfortably dressed. The sudden storm does not catch her unprepared, for she cannot afford to lose even an hour's work next day because she "caught cold." She permits no fussing with her garments, therefore they have to be in perfect working order, as fussing takes time, and time is money. Her hair is done neatly, and as becomingly as possible, but securely for the day.
If, on the other hand, the business woman be a milliner, whose own artistic personality must be her best advertisement, she takes pains to dress artistically even though she wear less serviceable and more elaborate costumes. She should, however, give the same impression of neatness and businesslike serviceableness, with the additional artistic impression which is going to show her customer that she knows how to bring out the telling points in her own personality, and create a charming effect.
The housewife needs, in her choice of morning garments, the same effectiveness as the business woman, for she must also work with real efficiency; but, in addition, she needs to give the impression of homelike abandon, as well as beauty and grace, which shall appear restful. – Edith Ordway, The Etiquette of To-Day, 1918
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