Clothing From Twelve To Twenty
( Originally Published 1924 )
How very important we feel when we first enter our "teens." If the time is autumn, nothing can bring prouder delight than an outfit which will satisfy all the clothing needs of one's busy young life.
The "best" frock is of red and gray, broadcloth if you wish, and a "belonging" coat accompanies it —reversible so that one can change from gray to red as one's mood varies. A tiny squirrel-skin hat and muff, gray suède oxfords and matching socks of wool and silk, gray suède gloves, and a little silver-mesh bag—every minute detail adds its note to the harmony. Miss Teen can wear this costume equally well to luncheon, to the matinée, or to church.
The practical, every-day outfit consists of a skirt of dark green-and-red plaid with a golden-yellow silk thread running through it—finely plaited, but-toned with smoked-pearl buttons to a blouse of pale gold linen damask with a turn-over collar, and a tie of red to match the red in the skirt. With this our little lady will wear cordovan oxfords, with hose and hat and gloves of the same shade, and a plain beaver coat or a cloth coat of dark brown with beaver or nutria trimming. This makes a school outfit for even blustering weather. Or a circular cape of plain material in the same hunter's green, and lined with the same red as that of the plaid is just as suitable.
For hiking and other outdoor sports I would suggest a pair of tweed knickerbockers, knee-high laced boots or brogans like her brother's, and heavy golf hose. Add to this a boyish shirt of flannel with pockets, a four-in-hand tie, a soft hat of tweed or suède to match the top coat, which would be of suède lined with sheep's wool, or a boy's mackinaw, and the whole outfit will be practical and picturesque.
Tho there undoubtedly is a period called "the awkward age," this age has many compensations, and clothes have magical qualities in covering up a great many of the embarrassing gawkinesses.
A girl forgets that she is all legs and arms when she is wearing the outing costume we have just described, for right now she is entirely suited to a free out-of-door life. The cape in the school out-fit lends her a certain grace—and any one can be quite at ease as a scarlet and gray picture ! But party frocks! How they seem to bring romance into her life; for every girl was born to bloom and never a one has had to waste her true sweetness on the desert air.
But even Youth, with all of its delightful qualities, may lack a perfect symmetry. For there may be angles to be coaxed into roundness, or too much plumpness that should be worn down into muscle and firm flesh.
The first thing to do, of course, is to face facts, to recognize first the good and bad points in the girl's figure, and then proceed to the solution of the problem, just as older women have learned to do. Quaintness as the suggestive note in the clothes of the angular girl, will go far toward solving her young problem. Or if the lassie is plump, she may have crêpe georgette, made with a long blouse, a slightly draped skirt and ending in points, a de-sign of white ribbon and flowers extending from shoulder to the bottom of the dress —points and long lines.
Undoubtedly the little lady in her teens will need an afternoon frock—one to wear when she is aid at a Tea Party. She should choose crêpe de Chine, so soft and caressing that all awkwardness is avoided. In accordance with her coloring, she will select any one of the lovely shades of brown, blue, green, beige, rose, yellow, or orchid. We will select for her an imaginary dress of pale almond-green, distantly cool, but kindly. The blouse is long and loosely fitted, the skirt is gathered quite full at the belt and is finished with a deep hem. The round neck and the cuffs of the elbow-sleeves are stitched with a slender pattern of hand embroidery in shades of green floss. A sash or wide ribbon in Roman colors is wound about the waist and tied in a loose knot at one side. A tassel of mixed colors finishes each end of the sash. Black satin pumps, sheerest black hose, black suède gloves, and a little soft plain black velvet chapeau, or all of these accessories in soft tan, a coat of beaver color, or green that will harmonize with the green of the dress, trimmed with Viatka squirrel.
For tennis, riding, and other activities, the girl in her teens dresses simply, with the same sort of outfit that older people use for sport clothes.