Clothing - From Six To Twelve
( Originally Published 1924 )
Hark ! hark ! the dogs do bark,
The little outfits which children wear to school are quite in keeping with their shining morning faces.
Since the fabric of their clothes is, after all, the outstanding evidence of their modishness, let us consider first the materials. The serviceable navy-blue twill—vivacious with color, such as bright red, orange, or henna—or the warm tans, or bright medium blues and greens of good selections. Other popular woolen fabrics for school frocks include Jersey, tweed, both checked and plain, homespun, challis, crępe, and poplin.
Among the cottons, gingham, as always, stands out preeminent for school wear. Sunshine days and gingham days are synonymous. Ginghams are worn the year round, and they always remind us that "Summer is here or "Summer is on the way just around the corner." Cotton crępes, the linen-finished cottons, pongee, and the various novelty-weave and ever-fast materials accompany Miss Gingham as she goes "In and Out the Window." In these fabrics, one-piece dresses are de-signed for every occasion. If the tailored style is desired, there may be a dress with a plaited skirt. Miss Twelve-year-old wears a kilt skirt becomingly.
Kilts were popular long before the days of the Lady of the Lake. The schoolgirl of to-day who reads the thrilling tale of Rhoderick Dhu and the Fiery Cross wears her kilt with the grace of Ellen Douglas. She has adapted it however to a rather smart skirt of plaid wool in knee length, and with it she wears a tailored blouse of pongee, a box-coat of homespun in plain mixture, an angora tam or a soft felt hat, heavy wool stockings, and flat-heeled calfskin shoes.
Colors are navy-blue, red, or wisely selected shades of dark brown and tan. Restraint is used in trimmings, but wool embroidery, bright colored braids, or pipings of contrasted color may be safely and artistically used. On a wool dress a small collar of cream-colored linen may be worn with a tie of knotted silk.
The school coat should be like the dress, trim, sturdy, and comfortable. Materials for the school coat include camel's hair, cheviot, tweed, homespun, wool poplin, velour, and chinchilla—the last, the best, is especially attractive when it is barred and striped. Many styles are rather boyish in effect; some are flared, especially if they are for the younger girls. Sometimes a little cape encircles the coat. It may be of a plain material or a plaid, but it reaches to the elbows, the waist, or below. The coat may be of reddish browns, especially in tones approaching terra cotta. Reds, browns, tans, various grays, greens, and blues are not passed by. There may be gay wool embroidery. Leather trimmings suggest little matching leather hats. Furs may be used in trimming, altho for school the scarf is in better taste.
For school-wear, head-coverings may be knitted caps to match the scarfs; tam o'shanters, or soft felt hats with only a band or a little feather for trimming.
Heavy sport shoes and hosiery complete the practical school costume.
Gloves should be heavy and warm for winter. Jewelry for school—none.
The party frock is the sun around which all the other clothes-planets revolve, and it should be as lovely, and simple, and dainty as the purse will permit. Its first charm is, of course, its color which may reflect all the hues of the rainbow or be expressive of soft moonlight and cobweb shadows.
In design, the party frock may emulate the less frivolous costume, and add to fabric and color the charm of simplicity. A charming dress for the petite maid whose party years are just beginning would be a slim frock of scarlet velvet, all in one shade, even to the deep plaited chiffon frill which falls from the shallow neck line to the waist. There are no sleeves, tho they are suggested by the plaited neck ruffle.
A dress of aquamarine-blue velvet could be edged about the neck and quarter-length sleeves with squirrel fur, and worn over a guimpe of fine white net, the full undersleeves being drawn in tightly at the wrist.
Organdies and fine net make very alluring frocks; and for trimming one might choose ruffles, bits of Valenciennes lace, or a touch of the daintiest hand embroidery, narrow, and of contrasting color.
The outfit for traveling should be smart but severely simple : a coat dress (like Mother's) is made of tub flannel or twill or Canton crępe, usually a dark blue color with crisp collars and cuffs which may be scalloped and bound with bias bands ; a little close-fitting hat. Shoes should be comfortable and plain; socks should be dark. A top-coat should be selected of plaid or checks or even of plain material. She may wear a pair of chamoisette or leather gloves matching the socks, if they contrast with the dress; brown shoes and socks, which are very correct with a navy-blue dress; brown leather purse, and, if she desires to wear it, a scarf. She does not wear anything that will not give service.