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April 1894

"The Small Belongings of Dress"

The Small Belongings of Dress column was a monthly advice column featured in a vintage magazine. People wrote Ms. Mallon questions and she responded in this column. Many times the answers were about accessories to dress, including gloves, millinery, and trims. The following are her responses:

The fancy for green is very general, and no better evidence of this can be given than to announce that a dinner gown of superb white brocade has sleeves of apple green velvet.

The felt sailor hat, trying as it may be, continues to be popular for traveling wear. It is show in golden brown, dark blue and black. Of course, on a long trip one may remove it and have the comfort, in our well-heated cars, of discarding anything that tends to make the head too warm.

Turquoise blue velvet continues to form a trimming on black silk. It is used to form the girdle, yoke and sleeves. If, however, one wishes the bodice to be very elaborate, the velvet girdle is done away with, and a galloon of black silk thickly covered with turquoise spangles makes the belt and falls far down over the front of the skirt.

The fashionable veils are very deep, are of real Brussels net with small sprigs thrown upon them, have a border in Vandykes, and when they are draped about the hat, reach far below the corsage. Those of black tulle with dots of white chenille and a finish of white duchesse are odd, but should be worn by a special type of women to be becoming. The type is naturally the woman with dark hair, dark eyes and a high color.

Mabel S.-
With the coming of the Louis XIII styles the jewelers are showing the daintiest of patch-boxes. They are usually of silver or gilt, heart-shaped, very ornate in design, and have a tiny miniature of some famous beauty just in the centre. Of course they need not be used as patch-boxes, but they are scarcely large enough to pose for anything else. However, they add one more to the numerous little pretties that belong to the fair sex.

Florence T.-
It is in very bad taste, indeed, to wear bracelets outside of your gloves on the street. Although very many fashionable women wear their bracelets outside of their gloves in the evening, the propriatey of it has always been questioned. Three or four strands of small gold beads make the prettiest necklace for a young girl, unless she should be fortunate enough to possess pearls, which, of course, are specially suited to youth and innocence.

When the hair can be worn perfectly plain and still be becoming, one is counted specially fortunate, but as very few faces can stand this a very short fringe is still worn, which, while it is not tightly curled, is made fluffy. The single curl in the centre of the forehead, so much fancied by French women, has not the vogue of last season. Every one wants to be able to part the hair, wear a little jeweled comb at each side and twist it softly either high or low on the neck, for this is not only the most fashionable, but the most artistic style, and is valued accordingly.

The prettiest nightdresses have either an Empire cape or sailor collar as their bodice decoration; whichever is chosen is made elaborate with rows of insertion and deep frills of lace, it always being taken for granted that the stitching is done by hand. The veritable Empire nightdress is gathered in at the waist to a belt of lace insertion, and is cut round in the throat, with a lace frill falling from under it. Spotted batistes continue to be proper, but are seldom trimmed with much lace, frills of the same material, having their edges scalloped and embroidered in a solid color, being counted more harmonious.

The ribbon bands for the hair, that is, those twisted ones that are worn like coronets, are made to look very smart by having at one side a cluster of flowers standing straight up. A combination liked shows a band of twisted white satin ribbon and on one side standing up as straight as possible, a small dead white rose framed in its green foliage. A very effective, but rather more pronounced contrast shows the coronet band of green velvet, and a gold butterfly poised ready for flight at one side quite near the front. The high loops and ends of stiff ribbon are still liked, but they are not, of course, quite as novel as the flower and butterfly contrasts.

Undoubtedly spangles will be extremely prominent, not only in the millinery of the spring, but also upon elaborate bodices. Sleeves and yokes are thickly spangled with jet or steel, and sometimes on a very elaborate costume deep spangled flounces appear. Pansies formed of jet spangles are wreathed about a tiny jet bonnet, while daisies formed entirely of gold spangles are noticed on black velvet, white velvet, pale gray felt and on large hats of black satin-finished felt. Of course, all the spangled decorations are expensive because the work is done by hand. For my own part, I am glad to see them in the market again, inasmuch as they give employment to a number of women.

Bibliographical Information:

Hooper, Emma M. "Hints on Home Dressmaking",
The Ladies' Home Journal, Vol. XI, No. 5, April 1894, p. 38.




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Disclaimer: This article is being presented as an educational resource of fashions during this era. The Costume Gallery, or its owner, Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier, does NOT sell or make sewing patterns. This publication's text is in its original format. Spelling or grammar may not appear to be correct, but were standard for the original publication date.

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