The Costume Gallery


Ladies Indispensable Assistant

Author: E. Hutchinson

A Book Copyrighted in 1852




Style of Bonnet

A person of delicate pale complexion should wear a hat with pink lining. A person of dark complexion should have white lining, with rose trimming. A person with very red or yellow complexion should not wear high colors. 



Have reference to the complexion. Tight sleeves without trimming are becoming to full forms, of medium height, or below it. A tall person appears graceful with drapery. A short form should not wear much drapery, and not a full skirt.


Flounces appear well upon tall persons, but never upon diminutive ones.

High-neck Dresses

High-neck dresses are generally becoming, but not upon a very high-shouldered person. If the shoulders are only moderately high, the neck may be covered, and a narrow piece of lace, instead of a collar, put around the throat.

Evening Dresses

Evening dresses of transparent materials, look well when made high in the neck. Make the dress loose over the chest, and tight over the shoulder blades. Long sashes fastened in front at preferable to belts, unless that is much trimming upon the dress -- Marrow lace at the wrist is becoming, and gives a finish to the dress. An extremely small and wasp-ish looking waist can never be considered handsome. It is exceedingly hurtful to those to attain it by tight-lacing, and doubly ungraceful, since it prevents all graceful movements.

Short Cloaks

Short cloaks are becoming to the short and clumsily built persons, but to a tall figure the reverse.


This presentation of the Ladies Indispensable Assistant has been made possible by loan from Making Time costume design.

Visit other areas of this book:


 Directions for Coloring Garments

 The Work-box


 Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen



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