|“Fashion has the power to appear temporarily in the guise of beauty though it is the antithesis of beauty nearly always.” – Emily Post |
Fashion is really not smart, nor clever, but it is oftentimes, thankfully, short lived.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
The Tulle Lace Hat of 1895
The Autumn winds which blew Lords and Dukes over here for various purposes of conquest, more or less successful, blew along a style that is much in vogue in London, but has never been popular here. This is the fashion for wearing the tulle or lace hat for dressy occasions. We like it for golf or tennis or the lawn party or the country drive. But Londoners like it for the theater, for the park and for the calling occasion.
An English lady, one of the combination English set now here — the H.O. Bax-Ironside, Dunraven, Marlborough, Paget party— appeared twice in a fall hat of lace. Once it was at Newport and once in New York. The appearances were only brief “calling afternoons,” but the hat was much admired. American women are quick to pick up what is good, and immediately the lace calling-hat was adopted. “Not because it is English,” explained an American lady very earnestly to her milliner, “but because I see — what you have often tried to impress upon me— the becomingness of anything soft and full around the face.”
As all who want a sudden lace hat for fall, who do not boast a regular milliner nor know one who would get up such a creation inexpensively, the rule for making it may be briefly stated. It is from the memorandum book of a Fifth Avenue milliner, who jotted it down the lines for aiding her head milliner, who was desirous of getting up a number of them.
“Take the wire frame of a summer tulle hat. The larger the frame the better, no matter what the shape, so long as the brim is flaring. Gather three yards of fine lacy chiffon upon the brim, letting the lace weave in and out of the wire until not an inch of wire is visible. This is done by laying the chiffon on top of the frame and pulling it through into big loose scallops. A few stitches hold it smoothly in place.
“The chiffon should be exactly the color of the trimmings of the fall suit. The very swell Newport caller chose white, embroidered in pale brown. Cover the top of the frame with the plain part of the chiffon. Now get two yards of striped velvet ribbon that includes all the shades of the costume, and make into a great, broad upstanding bow. Fasten with an emerald pin at one side of the crown and you have the the fall lace hat. It is simple enough and very becoming to everybody.” — San Jose Mercury, 1895
Friday, January 22, 2021
Within 10 days after the announcement of the Marlborough engagement their drove up the roadway within the beautiful outer portals of marble House 300 fine equippages. And out of each their tripped from one to three elegantly dressed women. An American girl had stepped into the British nobility, and these calls were for congratulation, many wishes of joy and much felicity. In accordance with her own ideas of etiquette, borrowed partly from the London set and partly from her native hospitable Southern training, Mrs. Alva S. Vanderbilt sent out 1,000 letters to friends telling them of her daughter's engagement, and as half of that number were within calling distance of the City by the Sea, 500 persons lost no time in calling. The exact wording of the announcement cannot be stated accurately, because it differed with the person and degree of friendship.
All society wore new calling gowns to pay respects to the prospective Duchess. She, quiet slip of a girl, wore white with bunches of ribbon at her waist for the Newport calls; and for the New York ones, when she came down to the city for the trousseau planning, she wore a light material, crepon mostly, or the sheerest China silk. She wore them in black, in brown, in blue and in bright red, often figured. When she goes into the street, she wears a long double-breasted coat that hides the gown to below the knees. Very English, but not very dressy, her friends say!
But the calling gowns of those who put on their best smiles and their best gowns to go to see the little Duchess to be! One of them was a heavy corded silk. The skirt fairly rustled with stiffness. It was plain and beautiful. The cut was Princess in the back, showing no seam at the waist. The fastening must have been under the arm and at the shoulder, for it was Princess in front also. A very heavy white cord and a jet braiding went across both the front and the back of the waist, making a fine full figure, as any trimming along the bust or mid-waistline will, and there was a lovely thick crystal-edged ruching around the neck. Strange what an air of elegance is given to a dress by the addition of white corded silk sleeves!
Stamped brocades in white silk are effective, but the cheapness with which they are produced makes them a little common for those who are desirous of making an individual impression. The applique bits of black velvet are not quite similar in appearance to the common brocades. Ladies who go shopping may like to walk, but those who go calling invariably likely to go in a carriage, even though it be but the two wheeler of the cab stand. The reason for this is the extreme elegance of the visiting toilet. Even the dinner gown is simple alongside of it. Nothing in the whole wardrobe is as fine as one's best calling gown. — San Jose Mercury, October 1895
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Nothing spoils a young college student’s career ambitions quite like the asphyxiation and subsequent death that often accompanies nerve gas and other chemical weapons. It is with this in mind that I’ve developed this practical guide to World War III Etiquette.
1. Never look directly at a detonation.2. Duck.
1. Never park in front of a fire hydrant as it may be needed to hose down unruly protesters.
1. Give your name and Social Security number, but never give up your credit cards. These ruthless commies hold no scruples about making fraudulent purchases.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
In these days, when the social aim and object of every hostess seems to be to get up something new, it would be well to have some way to indicate the use or management of novelties and thereby spare the guests much embarrassment. When dishes are to be served in any unusual way, some hint should be given to some of the guests, and others may take note of the manner of handling, and thus avoid confusion and awkwardness.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
To the Editor of the Sun –
Sir: I was interested in the Sunday Sun’s article describing the etiquette of a New York wedding. Now, won’t you please tell us what they do at a New York musicale in a private house? — Etta Milford, April 25
Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasureof Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ company on Monday at 3 p.m.
R. S. V. P. Music.
You send these invitations two or three weeks ahead to insure the presence of some of your guests, for people always avoid a musicale if possible, as they do an appointment with a dentist or an interview with a creditor. Then you set about procuring your talent for the occasion, and mortgage most of your property to pay them. You must send a carriage for every artist separately, for they are usually such antagonistic rivals that they couldn’t be expected to ride the length of the block in the same vehicle. You furnish them with flowers, add your unbounded gratitude to the modest sum you pay, and dress yourself in some quiet home dress, with no bonnet or glove, to receive your guests. Sometimes you give a musical luncheon, where you vary the programme by inviting a small number of your most intimate friends to luncheon, and have the music afterward, to which it is quiet comme il faut to invite as many people as you can accommodate in your rooms, though they were not present at the luncheon.
If you really want to spend money on a musicale, you can invite your personal friends to entertain the guests instead of hired operatic stars. Of course they don’t charge you anything, as they are not professional; you just make them some trifling presents of a brown-stone block, a carriage and horses, a diamond tiara, and some other little things of that kind, and remain forever under a burden of gratitude besides. It is like having tickets sent you for the theater or opera by a friend; you have to give them something in return that costs more than a box in the grand row. A musicale returns any kind of an obligation—a dinner, luncheon, reception, or tea and costs more than all of them in one. Some people give a series of musicales, three or four in number, but one handsome musicale in the season is all that is really required or often given. The programmes must be also engraved and closely followed, and no refreshments are served of any kind.
Monday, January 18, 2021