Clothing For The Twilight Years
( Originally Published 1924 )
When twilight, like a lady
Grow Young ! The old order changeth. There is a certain delightful freedom to do as one pleases which comes with the silver birthday anniversary. There are many ways to grow young. As one must know what to eat to avoid rheumatism and its accompanying stiffness; just so one must think in order to retain a pliant mind. To keep young, one must be mentally alert and retain one's youthful view-point, and avoid stubbornness in opinion which is one of the disagreeable manifestations of age. We learn new ideas daily and the woman who has kept her mental muscles limber will take up the ones which can be applied to her needs. She will never permit herself to become mentally stagnant, nor will she permit carelessness in her appearance, for these are governed by the conscious power of will.
The woman over fifty can afford to disdain any prevailing mode. She can be free from the dictates of changing fashions, unfettered by conventions of the day, but always striving to hold fast to what is becoming and thus to add charm to her age, her type, and her unassailable distinction. If straight chemise frocks are declared the fashion, she will still select that flattering dress which has a draped skirt or a slightly circular flare from the knee downward—a skirt which is always long enough to add stateliness to the figure—and the waist line will re-main very near the normal.
In evening clothes she disregards any inclination toward the mode which declares a sleeveless bodice; tho her sleeve may be somewhat open and of trans-parent gauzy lace, it should, however, still be long and graceful. She may safely wear for evening a V neck-line softened by net or tulle. A square décolletage may be softened in the same way.
Her tea-gown should suggest the very qualities of tenderness and queenliness which we associate with the woman over fifty. This gown is very becoming to one who may do much informal entertaining in her own home.
For afternoon gowns, the same V neck is good, relieved by frills of lace or soft mull. Sleeves should cling to the wrist, either with a cuff to which the long sleeve is gathered, or continued over the hand, or with the long swinging point of the flowing sleeve.
Street or morning clothes are embued with the dignified evidence of the best tailoring.
Hats are to be seriously considered. Never should she wear the drooping-brimmed big hats, but always the medium-sized hat or small toque.
All elaborate patterns or combinations of leather are to be avoided in shoes. Black suède or leather are suitable for the morning. For formal occasions, her slippers may have buckles of rhinestones, of cut steel, or of cut jet. For sports, her clothes and shoes should be very conservative. Hosiery should always match the shoes.
To this age of woman belongs the purple charm of orchids or violets. Her perfumes are the faintest essence of flowers, and their fragrance is like a delicate aura about her personality.