Clothes For The Afternoon
( Originally Published 1924 )
The business woman has little use for afternoon clothes, but the woman of leisure has a most enviable time selecting hers. Business clothes and evening clothes come under the censorship of men —but for afternoon, women dress for women. Man looketh on the ensemble, but woman sees the de-tails. Wherever women gather peaceably or with hostile intent, they will know to a fraction all the merits and demerits of each other's habiliments. It may be a good thing for women to undergo such analytical scrutinizing. It stimulates a scrupulous attention to detail which, when acquired, gives a woman confidence. When that is assured, social success is very apt to follow.
One often continues a luncheon with an after-noon engagement, so the costume which is suitable for both will be discussed.
Fabrics which suggest "the stuff that dreams are made of" go into the afternoon garments of queenly splendor—velvets, crêpe silk, crêpe-back satin, laces, Chinese embroideries, fur. Of course, for a simple luncheon, one's morning clothes are often suitable.
In afternoon gowns neck-lines are generally boat-shaped, but this should be decided by becomingness to the individual. The sleeves of the afternoon gown may be long, close-fitting, or bell-shaped, or they may be extremely short; they are generally worn with gloves which blend with the light tone of the hose.
The afternoon costume may be a suit of rich fabric fur-trimmed, with which is worn a blouse of some metallic fabric or one brilliantly beaded.
It almost invariably consists, however, of a dress and coat which belong together and are so care-fully related to each other that they give the effect of a costume. The afternoon dress skirt is worn longer than the street costume. The coats for afternoon may be three-quarter or full length. The straight plain coat takes on distinction from all-over embroidery. Fur may be used to trim the coat.
Slippers of suède or patent leather are worn with silk hosiery. Handbags are of beads, knitted silk trimmed with beads, or embroidered ones with petit needle-point or insets of lace. Mesh bags may be gold or silver. Flat envelop purses or silk brocade give a rich touch.