Taking Care Of Your Clothes
( Originally Published 1924 )
"Put money in thy purse"-SHAKESPEARE
INSIGNIFICANT things are not always as unimportant as we may think. We are told, in the old story, that once upon a time a kingdom was lost for the want of a horseshoe nail. It is so in matters of the toilette, where the slight, but none the less important, detail is most frequently overlooked.
It is very simple, of course, to have one's tailor or cleaning establishment so skilfully press, steam, or dry clean our coats, suits, and gowns that they are transformed to almost original newness, but equally important are routine details in their daily care. For this reason one should always have certain aids and conveniences at hand. Clothes-hangers, shoe-trees, whisk-broom, a bottle of ammonia for sponging, a spot remover, mending tissue, paper or cloth bags for covering clothes when hanging, together with the inevitable little work-basket containing snaps, hooks and eyes, and an assortment of colored threads for mending, are all important factors of beauty in dress.
Frocks should never be hung up in a closed wardrobe or clothes-press immediately after being removed, but should be placed on hangers where they may be thoroughly aired. One can not be too careful in avoiding any odor of perspiration. Evening gowns of frail materials, such as tulle, chiffon, crÍpe, or lace, should also be aired and then neatly folded in layers of tissue-paper and laid in long roomy boxes or bureau drawers. The shoulders, and sleeves if there be any, should be filled out into shape with crushed tissue-paper.
A good street suit should be used for outside wear only and never as part of a house dress. Never wear the suit skirt as a separate skirt if you wish to get your money's worth from the suit. With a tailored suit, some women get two skirts and wear them alternately, since most coats will outwear two skirts.
At the end of the day's wear shoes should be given a good inspection. If they need it, take them to the cobbler, for who wishes to have it said of her that she is literally "run down at the heel ?" There is economy in having more than one pair of every-day shoes. Any good boot-maker will say that the life of a pair of shoes is multiplied three-fold if they are never worn more than three days in succession. By resting a day or two on shoe-trees they resume their shape and are given a chance to dry out thoroughly, which frequently requires more than one night. Dainty shoes should be wiped with a clean cloth after each wearing, be placed on trees, aired, and then put into boxes or covered with unbleached muslin to insure them against soil or dust. Shoes should always be kept clean, and, unless an oil paste is used for shining them, a little oil should be occasionally rubbed into glazed leather. If overshoes are worn in wet weather and the shoes are, there-fore, not allowed to become wet or muddy, they last much longer.
Good shoes are worth half-soling and even whole-soling. For comfort, the soles should be sewed on and not pegged or nailed. Tips can be put on the soles if the shoes become worn at the toe.