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Wearing Apparel

( Originally Published 1931 )

IT is in the field of clothing that the greatest revolution in household economy has taken place. Men, women, and children go to the stores for everything from hats to shoes and from underwear to overcoats. Where once the housewife personally controlled the material, workmanship, and design of every garment and thus knew its worth intimately, her modern counterpart makes purchases. In winning her freedom from laborious duties she has traded too often first-hand knowledge for credulity and prejudice. Until she retrieves at least a general understanding of the factors which make for value in clothing, she will be at a distinct disadvantage in one of the most important phases of household management.

The two great considerations in any discussion of wearing apparel are the dominating influence of fashion in all the articles of clothing and the pronounced trend toward ready-to-wear garments. According to a survey made in 1927 by the Bureau of Home Economics of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, women buy ready-made clothing to save time, and because they cannot visualize fitting their own dresses. The report says:

While it might be thought that the logical reason for a woman's buying ready-made garments was that she did not know how to sew, this factor seems to have the least influence of any on the purchase of ready-to-wears. Except in the lowest income group, this reason was not often given. Almost 70 per cent of those answering the question believed they obtained better style and design in the ready-to-wear garment than they could produce themselves, and still more, 72 per cent, bought ready-to-wears to save time and energy.

Where fashion rules, a large share of the price must be allocated to factors which have nothing to do with intrinsic values or with the suitability of the material for the use to which it is to be put. For instance, there may be a vogue for dresses of transparent velvet, a material so fragile that the more honest stores tag these dresses with the bald statement that "transparent velvet will not wear." Yet that vogue will run its course just as if the fabric were a most useful and practical dress material.

There is a stability under this froth, nevertheless.

The rapid fashion changes are largely matters of color, material, and minor variations in a general design which is much more constant than it was a generation ago. The increasing number of women in business is an influence for common sense. The stenographer, for instance, would not long put up with sleeves which impair her efficiency and therefore her chances of hold In the case of men's apparel we might paraphrase a business term as "Fashion dictates but is not read." Annually, the men's clothiers convene in solemn conclave and pass upon such matters as double-breasted or single-breasted coats, pointed or rounded lapels and what not. Annually there is a forecast that men will soon blossom out in brightly hued raiment. Just as regularly Man buys a new suit which duplicates as nearly as possible the one he has on. As he can always get one made by a custom tailor if he cannot find it among the ready-to-wear, clothing manufacturers may hear the alluring voice of fashion but they take dictation from the business man and from the real college man who is training to enter business. Less and less is heard about suits that are "nifty" or allegedly "collegiate," with the result that there is no longer the necessity to pay fancy prices; for even the department stores are stocking suits cut to meet an almost universal taste for conservatism.

Having in mind these considerations and relative merits of textiles, we can proceed to an examination of the more important classifications of wearing apparel.


In buying dresses the importance of the saleswoman is often overlooked. The individual and personal attention paid by a competent saleswoman who comes to know her customer's tastes and requirements, is an outstanding feature of the exclusive specialty shops. In many cases the intelligent shopper can obtain in the larger stores which she patronizes an adequate substitute for this service by the simple expedient of selecting the most satisfactory clerk in each store and buying always through her. Next in importance is the ever-broadening scope of the ready-to-wear industry. Until recent years the woman who did not fit into the restricted group of those of average size and figure was forced to have her dresses made either at home or by a custom tailor. Now any well-stocked store has ready-to-wear frocks and suits in a wide variety of sizes, and, with the possible help of minor alterations, it is the unusual woman who cannot be fitted.

With style the dominant factor in dresses, it is well to bear in mind the constituent elements or style notes. These are (1) length and line of skirt; (2) line of blouse or waist; (3) length and shape of sleeves; (4) neck line, and (5) trim or ornamentation. What-ever combination of these notes is currently popular, sets the current style so far as design is concerned. To be in style is to achieve this effect. The models are cut and draped for the perfect figure. Therefore there must be a number of women who cannot achieve the desired effect by using these models, but who can do so by selecting the proper modification of the fashionable model.

Color and material join with cut to set the fashion. Every woman must decide whether or not the color suits her complexion. Also, she must decide whether the material is practical for her purposes. Some women expect more wear from their clothes than others, and they must protect themselves by selecting from materials which will provide that wear, whatever material fashion may "dictate." It would be a tragedy (to revert to transparent velvet for an illustration) for a girl who can afford only one party dress a season to select that material just because it happened to be the latest vogue.

Upon the workmanship which goes into the making of a dress depend the holding of its shape and the keeping of its general appearance. Especially in the cheaper dresses, material is sometimes skimped. Again, seams may be left with rough edges which will fray easily and eventually lead to pulling out. These may seem unimportant details where there is enthusiasm for the general appearance of a certain dress, but the wise shopper will not ignore them but will continue to look until both general appearance and detailed workmanship meet her standards. It may encourage patience in searching for things well done, to remember that even the cheapest bungalow aprons are properly seamed by some manufacturers.


Coats follow much the same formula as suits and cloth dresses. Fashion dictates cut, color, and material, and each shopper must decide how far it is practicable for her to accept this dictum. In judging materials it should be borne in mind that certain fabrics spot easily in the rain while others quickly show wear where a handbag or a sleeve rubs. Buttons, too, are a matter for consideration. Where a composition but-ton is used it should be well lacquered or it will soon split. By examining the edges of a button one can readily detect whether or not it is a composition one. Where coats are trimmed with fur the suitability of the trim can be judged from the information given in the following section on furs.

Women's raincoats are either of some rubberized material or of oiled silk. In the former case a solution of rubber cement is applied to a fabric by a machine called a "spreader." The value of a coat of rubberized material is determined primarily by its workmanship and secondarily by the type of its basic fabric. The best grade is "full cemented," that is, the seams are joined by cement rather than by stitching; the second grade is cemented in some places and stitched in others; the inferior grade is simply stitched. Most popular-priced raincoats are of the second grade. It is well to hold a coat of this type up to the light; even the tiniest hole is an important defect, as it is likely to enlarge. Rubberized coats are sensitive to heat and dryness. Their efficiency as protection against rain is dependent on the care given them and is, at best, comparatively short.

Oiled silk, on the other hand, while more expensive to buy and more easily torn, remains waterproof longer. It is lighter in weight, but its protection against cold is negligible.

Whichever type of coat you buy, it should be long enough to break below the knees even at full stride; it should have a collar cut to afford full protection against rain; its pockets, armholes, and buttonholes should be reënforced to prevent ripping, and it should be entirely free from even the tiniest holes.


We have already seen that fashion has a subordinate place in men's clothing. As a result there is no need to pay for exclusive design or for the latest "creations," and selection thus becomes a matter of the material, fit, and workmanship offered for a given price. In the case of material, the type of work a man does affects his choice; for the man who sits long hours at a desk will avoid cloths which soon get shiny or which bag at the knees. In the matter of workmanship the stitching of seams and the type of lining are the important items.

From time immemorial Man and Woman have used skins of fur bearing animals as both protective and ornamental dress. Fashions change both in the type of furs and in the type of garments made from them, but fur remains an important, and a costly, item in the wardrobe.

In approaching this subject from the point of view of practical value, the shopper should dissolve the illusion that fur will outwear cloth and that, therefore, the higher initial investment in a fur coat is good economy so far as warmth and durability are concerned. The reverse is true. A good cloth coat will outwear the best fur garment, if wearing qualities are judged by the ability of an article to retain its original appearance. Weight for weight, a well woven and well made coat of wool will be warmer than fur. But these considerations should not (and in practice certainly will not) materially influence the popularity of furs for many formal and sports uses.

Obviously, furs vary in durability with the type of animal, with his habitat and age, with the time of year that the pelt is taken, and with the skill used in dressing the pelt. The bureau of standards of one New York store has prepared a report on this subject for general use; its findings are the basis for the following comments.

Factors Influencing Quality of Fur : The finest and choicest furs are obtained from animals of the arctic and northern regions. The hair of these animals is short, fine, soft, full, and downy, while the hair of animals of warmer lands is longer, stiffer, and harder. The quality of fur on all animals varies with the age of the animal and the season of the year. Fur is at its best between November and March and when the animal is between one and two years old. The habits and habitats of various fur bearing animals are factors which largely determine the constitution of the fur and the nature of the skin.

There are four classes into which we may divide the animals from which we obtain fur:

1. Carnivora (Flesh Eaters) : Bear, wolverene, fox, raccoon, sable, marten, skunk, fitch, ermine, cats, seals, tigers, and leopards.

2. Rodentia (Rat Family) : Beaver, muskrats, marmots, chinchillas, hares, rabbits, and squirrels.

3. Ungulata (Herbivorous) : Persian, Crimean, and Chinese lambs, goats, ponies.

4. Marsupialia: Opossum and kangaroo.

Imitation: Many of the inferior and inexpensive furs are treated chemically to imitate the colors and shades of the finer and costlier furs, with the result that <> "Baume Marten" may be opossum, civet cat, fitch, hare, kolinsky, skunk.

"Beaver" may be be opossum, kangaroo, "Mandel,"* nutria.

"Blue fox" may be opossum, Jap fox, white fox, goat, hare, "Mandel," squirrel, lynx.

"Chinchilla" may be hare or rabbit.

"Cross fox" may be American gray fox.

"Fisher" may be fitch, Jap fox, "Mandel."

"Fitch" may be opossum, civet cat, hare, "Mandel," rabbit, skunk.

"Giraffe" may be goat.

"Kolinsky" may be marmot, squirrel, or rabbit.

"Krimmer" may be Mongolian lamb.

"Leopard" may be calf, goat.

"Lynx" may be hare, "Mandel."

"Marmot" may be gazelle.

"Muskrat" may be rabbit.

"Mink" may be Bassurick, opossum, gazelle, "Mandel," marmot, muskrat, rabbit, squirrel, kolinsky.

"Nutria" may be opossum, kangaroo, "Mandel," rabbit. "Ocelot" may be calf.

"Raccoon" may be Chinese dogskin, American gray fox, "Mandel," marmot, rabbit.

"Red fox" may be opossum, badger, Chinese dogskin, American gray fox, hare, "Mandel."

"Sable" may be opossum, fitch, flying squirrel, hare, kolinsky, "Mandel," marmot, rabbit, skunk, squirrel. "Seal" may be opossum, nutria, otter.

"Silver fox" may be opossum, American gray fox, "Mandel."

"Skunk" may be opossum, badger, "Mandel," marmot, rabbit.

"Squirrel" may be rabbit.

"Stone marten" may be opossum, fitch.

"Summer ermine" may be ermine, muskrat, squirrel, goat, or nutria.

Durability: It is most important to consider the relative durability of furs since it varies widely in the same species and in different furs. Durability of furs depends mainly upon the nature of the pelt as to weight, uniformity of thickness, firmness and elasticity, the tanning of the hide, and the treatment of the heavy portions during the dressing and dyeing process.

The otter is one of the strongest furs and is noted for its lasting pelt. In the following table, published by Peterson in "The Fur Trade and Fur Bearing Animals," taking otter pelt as 100 percent standard, we see the relative durability of different furs as well as the weight in ounces per square foot of these furs.


Astrakhan 10 3
Bear, brown or black 94 7
Beaver, natural 90 4
Chinchilla 15 1 1/2
Civet cat 40 2 3/4
Coney 20 3
Ermine 25 1 1/4
Fox, natural 40 3
Fox, dyed black 25 3
Genet 35 2 3/4
Goat 15 4 1/8
Hare 15 2 1/4
Krimmer 60 3
Kolinsky 25 3
Leopard 75 4
Lynx 25 2 3/4
Marten, Baume, natural 65 2 3/4
Marten, Baume, blended 45 2 3/4
Marten, Stone, natural 45 2 7/8
Marten, Stone, dyed 35 2 7/8
Mink, natural 70 3 1/4
Mole 7 1 3/4
Muskrat 45 3 1/4
Nutria, plucked 25 3 1/4
Opossum 37 3
Opossum, dyed 20 3
Opossum, Australian 40 3 1/2
Otter, sea 100 4 1/2
Persian lamb 65 3 1/4
Pony, Russian 35 3 1/2
Rabbit 5 2 1/4
Raccoon 65 2 1/4
Raccoon, dyed 50 2 1/4
Sable 60 2 1/2
Sable, blended 45 2 1/2
Seal, fur 80 3 1/2
Seal, fur, dyed 70 3 1/8
Skunk, tipped 50 2 7/8
Squirrel, gray 20-25 1 3/4
Wolf, natural 50 6 1/2
Wolverene 100 7

Two Kinds of Hair: Most fur-bearing animals have two different kinds of hair on their bodies. Nearest to the skin is a coat of short, thick, soft hair of woolly nature called underhair. Overlying the fur hair is a protective layer of hair, longer, coarser, and glossier, called top hair. The roots of the top hair are generally deep in the skin.

Skunk has the blackest fur. Other animals whose fur is nearly black are the black bear and black fox. The fullest and darkest skins of each kind of fur are most valuable. With regard to natural colors of furs, browns that are most expensive are those of bluish rather than reddish tendency. A gray with a bluish tinge is better than a gray with a yellowish tinge.

Long-Haired Furs: The long-haired furs give cause for complaint because of the falling out of the longer hairs. This is particularly noticeable when a light-colored garment is trimmed with a dark fur or vice versa.

Care of Furs : Sunlight has a tendency to bleach furs. Therefore continued exposure should be avoided.

Furs that have become wet should be well shaken and allowed to dry at room temperature, preferably on a form without exposure to sun or fire, since these destroy the nutritive oils in the pelt, affecting the natural color of the fur and its durability.

Cleaning of Furs : Water should never be used to clean furs, since it shrinks the hide. Gum camphor tends to keep the moths away but is likely to affect the color of dyed furs.

Fur garments may be best cleaned in the following ways:

1. Fuller's earth method. The garment is sprinkled with dry Fuller's earth and folded together (fur inside) and allowed to remain for twenty-four hours, after which the powder is beaten out and fur is glazed with water.

2. Damp salt method. Damp salt is rubbed into the fur and then beaten out.

3. Use of a finely divided solid (red-cedar dust or corn meal) and gasoline.

4. The dry cleaning method recommended as the best method by the U. S. Bureau of Standards and National Association of Dyers and Cleaners is called the Naphtha-Paraffin Method. The garment is cleaned in naphtha first and then treated with paraffin. By this method, the luster is improved, there is no loss of color, the fur is subjected to a minimum amount of wear, its fat content and pliability are retained, and the soil and stains are actually washed from garment and lining.

Moths : From the U. S. Department of Agriculture Farmer's Bulletin No. 1353 we obtain the following in-formation to aid us in combating moths: 1. Furs should be cleaned, brushed, and sunned before being stored away, so that they are free from moth life.

However, cleaning does not render the garment moth-proof, and therefore furs should be protected from moth infestation by proper storing methods.

2. Naphthalene and paradichlorobenzine are two of the safest and best materials for protecting garments against moth injury. Garments stored with these substances in the form of flakes or moth balls, should be wrapped tightly and carefully in an unbroken paper of moderate thickness so that all openings are sealed. To obtain absolute protection the fumes given off must be confined with the garment and should not escape. One pound of good grade naphthalene is sufficient for each six to ten cubic feet of space. Fumes of naphthalene are not poisonous to man but are injurious to moths.

3. Gum camphor is less effective than naphthalene and cannot be depended upon unless fumes given off by evaporation can be closely confined with the fur. Dyed furs stored away with gum camphor sometimes become discolored.

4. Cold storage is another method used to prevent injury from moths. This is based on the fact that the sudden application of extremes in temperature destroys moth life.


A supposedly reputable Fifth Avenue store once advertised "100-Gauge Silk Hose Specially Priced." Now, the 100-gauge hose does not exist. The gauge is an indication of the fineness of the knitting and a 44-Gauge French hose or a 57-Gauge German hose is considered the finest made. This store merely went one step in advance of the general trend in imposing on the ignorance of the average shopper in the matter of hosiery.

The deceptions practiced on the purchaser are largely due to her own indifference and to her willingness to take what is offered her provided the price is right. Any information given here, which the shopper can use in purchasing hosiery, may not only save her a great deal of money but aid in abolishing the misrepresentation of hosiery to all shoppers. Although this information is presented in terms of women's hose, it covers the salient points of all hosiery.

Kinds of Hose: Hosiery falls into these classes; silk, rayon, cotton, wool, and mixtures. Because silk far exceeds the others in popularity it will be considered first.

The shopper has two thoughts in mind when she buys a pair of silk hose : serviceability and appearance. Unfortunately the two do not always turn together on the wheel of fashion. When the very heavy silk stocking is considered the best in appearance, style combines happily with serviceability; but when exceedingly sheer hose is thought most attractive, the reverse is very much the case. The most serviceable silk hose and incidentally, the least expensive has a cotton or lisle foot and top. The next in durability has a silk foot with an inner lining of cotton. The stocking which wears out the quickest has all silk foot and top. The next consideration in durability is the weight of the silk thread used, and this is determined by the number of strands to the thread. Other features which increase the length of wear are the reënforced heel, the special toe guard, the wide hem, and the lock stitch just below the garter top to prevent a run. Spliced hose have an extra thread introduced into the construction at the toe, heel, knee, or sole, where there is likely to be extra wear. Accuracy of knitting, particularly where the foot and the leg join, enhances the wearing qualities of a pair of hose.

Appearance is another matter. The all-silk foot and top are much more attractive and are found on all the most expensive silk stockings. The difference between the cotton foot and the silk leg is not so noticeable before washing, but is brought out more strikingly after the stocking has been washed.

"Rings" and Other Defects: A perfect silk hose, if there were such an article, would be clear. It would have neither rings going around the leg nor lines running up and down. As a matter of fact all hose have either rings or lines or both, but in the better quality these are so slight that they do not mar the appearance of the hose. "Rings" are due to the variation in weight of the strands of raw silk. The perfectly uniform skein of silk, the desire of every silk manufacturer, has never yet been found. One reason for this is that the silk-worm, spinning throughout his life, does better work at one age than at another, producing a thread of varying weight and the defective "rings" in the stocking; or the "rings" may be due to faulty reeling of the silk. Lines running up and down the leg, however, are the result of faulty knitting of the hose and are indicative of a carelessness in construction. Faulty dyeing may also be a cause.

Seconds: The manufacturer and the retailer recognize two distinct grades of hose, first and second, the latter frequently being passed on to the shopper as the first grade. Seconds are so graded because of defects usually due to irregularities in knitting or in the yarn or to faulty matching. Such hose may have threads which have been broken and mended or they may have seam bunching. Their quality depends upon the standard of inspection in the different mills. Many of the large stores have examiners, but too often their work is cursory.

If the shopper will examine stockings which are offered as seconds she may possibly find a pair as good as the first grade, for which she will pay less. A "lot" of second-grade stockings consists of all kinds, some good and some poor.

Some of the more reputable stores carry only first-quality hose because they maintain a high standard of merchandise and stand behind it. The careful shopper should find out the policy of the store in regard to selling seconds; where they are sold they should be clearly labeled as seconds.

Glove Silk and Rayon : Silk hose are sometimes made of a fabric which has been woven, cut and seamed up. They do not run as knitted hose will but, on the other hand, they do not give; and they get holes easily as a result. There is also a glove silk fabric which is knitted in the piece and cut and seamed. Rayon is less elastic than silk and therefore does not conform as well to the shape of the foot. It should never be rubbed in washing as it loses its strength when wet. When these defects are overcome, a very important future may await rayon in the hosiery field.

Cotton and Wool: Of cotton hose, lisle is the best quality. It is made of a fine hard, twisted yarn. A mixture of cotton and wool may be more satisfactory than pure wool because it shrinks less. It also reduces the cost of the fabric, enabling the customer of limited means to obtain a warm stocking at a low price. Pure wool is widely used for outdoor wear and is, of course, the warmest stocking.

Dyes: No matter what the material of the hose, the manner and quality of the dye are important considerations. Ingrain is a term applied to raw material or yarn dyed before knitting. It is generally, though not necessarily, "loaded" with tin to give it weight and luster. Piece-dyed hose is much the better; here the dye is applied to the completed fabric.

Full-fashioned and Seamless : Many shoppers do not realize the superiority of the full-fashioned over the seamless hose. Seamless hose are usually much cheaper and may look as attractive in the store as the full-fashioned kind. But, taken home and tried on, they do not fit the leg snugly and after washing become shapeless tubes. The full-fashioned hose is shaped in the knitting to the form of the leg. The seamless hose is knit in tubular form, then stretched on a wooden shape. When worn there is as much material in the ankle as in the calf. The calf, being stretched, is more trans-parent; the ankle, with as much material in less space, looks darker. After washing the stocking becomes loose and baggy at the ankle.

Seamless hosiery is often made the butt of the nail file test, to demonstrate the superior strength of the stocking. This consists in running a nail file or scissors blade quickly along the inside of the stocking. Any seamless stocking whatever will stand this test if the point of the blade is directed backward.

Tests: It is not easy to distinguish between the full-fashioned hose and the seamless hose made to imitate the full-fashioned, but if the shopper will observe the following points she will be able to tell which she is getting:

The full-fashioned hose has dots. on either side of the seam just below the hem line where the tapering process begins. The seamless hose has either imitation dots or none at all.

The full-fashioned hose has narrowing marks on the calf. The seamless hose may have imitation narrowing marks; but if so the wales, or ribs, of the fabric will run parallel with the mock seam, whereas in the full-fashioned hose the wales of the fabric run into the narrowing marks.

The seam of the full-fashioned hose is real, closing two edges of fabric, and extending all the way from top to bottom and along the sole or sides of the foot. The mock seam of the seamless hose usually runs only from the heel to the hem.

Full-fashioned hose have seams on the bottom of the feet or two seams on the sides of the feet. Seamless hose have none.

Full-fashioned hose have gaps for greater elasticity in the inside seam in the top. There is no such gap in mock seam hose, usually no appearance of a seam at all at the top.

In full-fashioned hose there are narrowing and fashion marks on each side of the base of the heel. These are not present in mock seam.

Sports Hosiery: Golf hose are either full-fashioned or seamless and come with cuffs a liberal allowance of yarn at the top of each stocking permitting it to be turned down.

Hosiery intended for use by hunters and hikers and the rougher usage of forest and field, is made of the coarser grades of wool yarns, strong, heavy, and tough. But this coarseness must not be taken as an indication of poor quality. A yarn may be heavy without being of inferior grade.

The English mills turn out the best quality of sports hose, principally because England has the wool. The American products are not so highly regarded, perhaps; but when made of good quality imported yarn are very satisfactory hose and in some few instances are excellent.

Look carefully to the seams of all sports hosiery. See that they are not too large where the foot joins the leg and running up the back of the ankle and calf. The knitting should, of course, be uniform without knots, loose ends, or other faults. Be sure to buy wool hose a half-size or even a size larger than ordinarily worn, to allow for shrinking.


There are three kinds of gloves: leather, fabric, and a combination of leather and fabric or leather and fur.

Leather Gloves: After different leathers have been tanned for making gloves, the gloves are known as kid, lambskin, chamois or doeskin, cape skin, mocha skin, deerskin, buckskin, and pigskin.

The term suède applies to any leather with the surface removed and finished in soft, velvety effect on the flesh side. Skins are often finished in this way either because the grain surface is cut or scratched badly or because splits are used. Suède is inferior in strength and durability, but it is soft and beautiful. Handling objects to any great extent will cause a suède glove to wear shiny and to soil.

The general term, glacé, on the other hand, applies to any leather where the natural grain or outside surface is untouched and presents a glossy appearance.

Kid skins are taken from young kids which are killed before they are six months old. These skins are strong though extremely fine in grain. Since 1691, Grenoble, in southern France, has been the great kid-glove center of the world, and the finest gloves are known as French kid. Kid stretches so easily that it is essential to have a perfect fit, and even then it may get out of shape. It scuffs and wears shabby much more quickly than a skin of heavier weight, but is the most durable leather made into a dress glove.

Lambskin gloves are often sold for kid gloves. Lamb-skin is almost as fine in texture as kid, but it is not so resistant and will not wear so well. The more reputable stores advertise "lambskin" gloves and "kid" gloves. This is an index to the honesty of the store's merchandise for, as it is almost impossible for the shop-per to distinguish between the two skins, many stores take advantage of her ignorance. Real kid gloves are seldom inexpensive, as the supply of kid skins is limited and the process of manufacture is elaborate.

The chamois of commerce is not the skin of the Swiss animal known by that name, nor is "doeskin" an accurate name. Both are sheepskin tanned and dressed to resemble chamois or doeskin. As a rule chamois gloves wash very well, being tanned with oil; but when purchased they should never fit the hand as tightly as a kid glove because they may shrink a little. White chamois may turn a dull yellow if kept in a dark place, but a short time in the sunlight will restore it to its original whiteness. Chamois does not wear as mocha or heavy glacé kid will.

Cape-skin gloves got their name originally from Cape Town, South Africa, whence the skins were shipped; but the name "Cape" has come to be used to designate all the medium and heavyweight skins with the. grain left on, taken from either domestic, Australian, or African sheep. These skins have a splendid texture and are very strong and durable, but the true South African cape is the best quality.

Mocha gloves are made from the skin of a long-haired sheep living in Arabia and take their name from the city of Mocha. Another skin called "Sudan," inferior in quality, is shipped from Cairo and is often sold for Mocha. The term "mocha" is often wrong-fully applied to skins which are treated to imitate mocha because they are too scratched for a glacé finish. This imitation mocha is, however, stronger than suède because a better skin is used and because the grain surface is the wearing surface.

Deerskin is the skin of a deer with the grain on. The gloves made of this leather are strong and of a good weight.

Buckskin is the skin of a deer from which the grain has been removed. After tanning, buckskin is a yellow color. In order to obtain the gray shade we are familiar with, the color is laid on with a brush.

Pigskin, or more accurately peccary-hog skin, is the skin of a wild hog which is found in Mexico and South America. The animal is smaller than the ordinary pig and is covered with stiff bristles very deeply rooted. If the skins are split too thin the roots of these bristles are likely to scratch the hand. That is why pigskin gloves are always a heavy weight.

When leather gloves are stitched, an inferior leather is sometimes inserted between the fingers where it does not show. It is a good idea to feel of this leather to see if it is the same as the rest of the glove.

It is important to notice the seams, for they are the weakest part. The most expensive gloves have hand-sewn seams, which are done very carefully (a clever sewer can sew an average of only four pairs a day) but are more likely to separate than machine-sewn seams.

The machine-sewn seams used most frequently are :

Overseam. In this glove the two edges of the seam are placed together and sewed over and over. This makes a dainty, inconspicuous finish, but is not so strong as other seams. The leather pulls out from the stitches, often causing the glove to become shabby be-fore it is worn out. No other seam looks so dressy, however.

Piqué seam. The edges of the leather are placed together so that they slightly overlap and then are sewed through and through with a continuous, straight stitch. A straight row of stitching on one edge is exposed to view. Because this seam is stronger than the overseam it is used chiefly on medium-weight leather. The tips of the glove in this seam often stand out as if the glove had been tried on before.

Prix seam. The advantage of this seam is that it is made quickly and so hastens production, although at the same time it produces a cheaper glove. A glove with this seam is usually not so carefully made as the others, and is likely to fit tight in the fingers. This seam is used in the heavier leathers and is made by placing the edges together and sewing through, leaving the two raw edges on the outside of the glove. It is the strongest seam used but is clumsy.

Stitching on a cheap glove is not so fine and regular, nor is it done with as good thread as that used in the more expensive gloves. Notice whether the stitches are small and regular; whether good silk or linen thread is used; whether the stitching looks cottony and cheap; whether the edges are finished neatly or are raw and slightly frayed.

Fabric Gloves : A close, fine texture is desirable in a fabric glove because it will be more durable, will hold its shape, and will give a much better appearance. There are three kinds of fabric gloves: cotton, silk, and wool.

A cotton glove is cooler than a heavy leather glove or a heavy silk, is comfortable to feel, is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to keep clean. Cotton gloves have been so perfected that for many purposes they are an excellent substitute for leather.

Silk gloves are made of either Milanese or tricot silk. The raw silk is first woven into skeins, then spun into thread which is put on a knitting machine. As silk gloves are not very durable, double finger tips are put on most of them, each tip being pasted on the inside of the glove finger separately. Silk gloves are sometimes lined with a material called cotton-suède or with silk. Both materials add strength, warmth, and durability. The best silk gloves in the world are made in the United States.

There are two types of wool gloves: seamless and wrought. The seamless glove is fashioned to shape in the course of knitting while the wrought glove is knitted in a straight piece and put together afterwards. Warmth is the first advantage of wool gloves. This is due to the fact that the wool fibers are kinky and resilient and enclose a great deal of air, which is the greatest known insulator against cold. Moreover, the warmth of wool gloves is due to the lack of constriction, which allows free circulation of blood in the fingers. An added advantage is their flexibility.

Leather-Fabric Gloves : A combination of leather and fabric or leather and fur in a glove makes the best protection against the winter weather. The warmest glove is a leather glove lined with wool, contrary to the popular notion that a fur-lined glove is the warmest. Cape skin lined with chamois or seamless wool is the very best combination against the cold.

Fit of the Glove : The hand is larger when it is closed or when it is carrying anything. Therefore, if the glove fits tightly when tried on, it will probably not give good service when worn. A woman naturally wants her hand to look as small as possible and is likely to squeeze it into the tightest glove possible. Naturally, neither the glove leather nor the seams can stand this undue strain. As a matter of fact, a glove that follows the natural contour of the hand is tar more attractive than the bulging and contortion caused by a bad fit. The short, fat hand should be fitted with gloves so stitched that the eye is drawn along the length of the hand and down to the tips of the fingers. The piqué or outside seam is best and arrowhead stitching is very becoming. The long, thin hand should have broad stitching, as in the overseam, to fill out the lines of the hand.

Notice the fit of the thumb particularly. Notice also if the glove has gussets between the fingers. A gusset glove fits better and wears better. The gussets add strength but give no additional room.

Dye : Skins may be either dipped in a dye solution or brushed on the surface. As dye brushed on does not appear on the inside it will not wear off on the hands; but the color does not last as long as under the dipped dye method. All kinds of skin will take black dye, therefore the poorer skins may be used for black gloves. For this reason it is economy to buy an expensive black glove rather than a cheap one.

Care of Gloves : Many a shopper buys a good pair of gloves and ruins them by bad care.


Putting on and taking off a pair of gloves the correct way will lengthen their wear. A tight-fitting glove should first be gently worked on the four fingers, the seams being. kept straight, for it may become permanently misshapen by careless adjusting. The thumb should be eased on after the fingers are adjusted. The thumb seam should run up the middle of the thumb nail, except in the case of sports gloves with an English thumb, where the seam line follows the inside of the thumb. The glove should be removed by pulling back over the hand and turning the glove inside out. The glove should then be turned and gently pulled back into shape while it is still warm from the hand. A glove that is allowed to get cold before being straightened may become permanently out of shape.

Washable gloves give extremely satisfactory wear if they are laundered correctly.

1. Gloves should be washed on the hand in lukewarm water and Ivory soap and rinsed in lukewarm water with just a very little soap in the water.

2. They should then be dried on the hand with a bath towel.

3. Then they should be taken off and immediately stretched back into their original shape and hung up to dry.

4. The gloves should be softened before they become thoroughly dry by rubbing gently.

All leather gloves stamped "Washable" can be depended on to wash. The treatment of leather gloves to make them washable is being constantly improved, as they fulfill the needs of the shopper much more satisfactorily than gloves which have to be sent to the cleaner's. Doeskin and chamois are washable, whether stamped so or not.


No entirely satisfactory substitute for leather in footwear has yet been discovered or invented. Leather possesses inherent properties such as toughness, pliability, and wearing qualities, due to nature's arrangement of the fibers of the skin from which it is made, that defy imitation or improvement. It has been used for boots and shoes in various shapes, the most primitive, the most ornamental, even fantastic, from time immemorial. It is not an artificial product to the ex-tent that textiles are. The latter are manufactured by combining separate fibers in a new or set pattern, whereas in leather the fibers of an animal's skin retain to the end their natural relation to one another. All that a tanner can do is to treat the skin so as to pre-vent disintegration and to give it hardness or softness, solidity or flexibility as may be required for a particular purpose. For this reason the hide or skin must be judged in the first instance upon its natural properties rather than for those attributes imparted to it in tanning.

Selecting Shoe Leathers : It is not so much the grade of the skin used by the shoe manufacturer as the way in which it is cut and the use made of the cuttings that determines the leather quality of the shoe. A skin may be so uneven in thickness and texture that one classed as Grade A will supply material for only one pair of really high grade shoes. It follows that if more than one pair be made from such a skin the resulting products will not be uniform in quality. Say that a manufacturer puts out a shoe to be sold for $14 a pair at retail. He cuts the leather from the "heart," the very best part, of a Grade A, B, or C skin from which to make the vamps, and pieces from the heart of a Grade C or D skin for the quarters. This makes an excellent shoe, because even a C or a D grade skin may contain parts which grade much higher than the average grade of an entire skin. The lower grades may have spots or parts that are of Grade A or B quality.

The same holds true of sole leathers. A skin may yield pieces of varying grades, the best being taken from the "bend," that is the part which originally came directly over the animal's back. The "bend" is the heart of the skin for cuttings for sole leather.

Cuttings of leather for the cheaper grades of shoes are made in case lots by machine; those for the finer grades are made in pairs by hand. In machine cutting there is, obviously, not the discrimination there would be in skins cut by hand. In hand cutting careful selection of the best parts of the skin is possible.

Not all skins are suitable for making into leather for footwear. Hogskins, for example, are porous and stretch easily and the fibers of sheepskin are long and often weak, making the skin unsuitable for any purpose where strength and durability are required. In a raw state hides and skins are distinguished according to the arrangement and size of the hair cells (which are very plain in pigskin, even when tanned) and the thickness, firmness, coarseness, or fineness of the skin. But after the skins have been made into shoes it is sometimes difficult to tell one source of leather from another.

Blemishes are sometimes covered over with a high polish and are not apparent in a casual inspection. For example, all range cattle are branded and that part of the hide which has felt the red-hot branding iron has, of course, been weakened to an appreciable extent. Also, the skin may have been cut when the cow or steer ran into a barb-wire fence, or there may be "fat wrinkles" that is, natural wrinkles where the hide is usually thinner and certainly not so smooth as the bet-ter part of the skin.

Soles and Uppers : In the shoe industry leathers are divided into the sole and upper leathers. Sole leather, made from the hides of cattle, should be dense, solid, firm, free from cracks and breaks. If porous or broken the leather lets in moisture and is likely to rot. Leather for the upper part of the shoe should be of finer texture than sole leather; cowhides are used partly for soles and partly for uppers and the skins from smaller animals, calves, goats, kangaroos, etc., for upper stock. Hides can be and often are "split," that is, they are run through a machine which divides each skin into several layers, making two or more skins out of one skin. Naturally, the split-skin leather is not always of even thickness, nor is it so strong or so durable as the whole skin. When a cowhide is split, the "splits" nearest the grain or hair side are suitable for uppers and those from the flesh side are finished in imitation or calfskin to make fairly good upper stock for the cheaper grade of shoes.

Shoe Leathers: Calfskin is regarded as in many respects the most suitable leather for uppers. It is smaller, finer in texture, softer, more pliable, and of more even grain than cowskin.

Kips are really a variety of calfskin. It should be explained that generally the skins of all animals are technically divided into hides of more than twenty-five pounds weight, kips of from fifteen to twenty-five pounds, and skins of less than fifteen pounds. Kips are taken from calves that are old enough to graze. They are firmer in texture than skins but not so firm as hides.

Kid is an excellent upper leather. The fibers are interlaced, enabling it to stand a strain in any direction. It comes in many varieties, the quality depending largely upon the habitat of the kid or goat from which it is taken.

Sheepskin, because of its fibers, is not so strong or durable as goatskin or kid. It is, however, suitable for facings, tongues, and other parts of a shoe where the wearing strain is not so great.

The cabretta skin comes from an animal which is related to both the sheep and the goat. The leather is somewhat stronger than sheepskin leather but not so desirable as kid or goatskin. It is used in some of the cheaper grades of women's and children's shoes.

Horse and colt skins taken from the front part of the hide are suitable for uppers. Most of these skins are imported from Russia.

Kangaroo skin makes a good upper leather. It has a fine-pitted surface as if it had been pricked with a pin, instead of the usual grain. The supply is comparatively limited.

Buckskin for shoes is usually the flesh side of a cow, calf or kid skin with a suède finish. It should not be confused with deerskin, of which there is little to be had.

Leather Finishes: Calfskin which has a pebbled or checkered surface is known as boarded calf because it has been rubbed with a board to raise or emphasize the grain. It is also known as box calf. It is frequently imitated in cowhide on which the pattern has been impressed and rolled. Good box calf is almost waterproof and is in general use either for black or for tan shoes. Willow stock is the same as box calf except that the term is applied only to colored stock.

Real elk skin is too expensive for shoes, so a calf or veal skin is finished in imitation of the natural elk skin and is known in the trade as elk-finished calfskin. Reputable stores will tell you it is not genuine elk skin and this may be said also of imitations of snake, alligator, and some other skins. The honest dealer will make the distinction between the calfskin imitation, which is really a serviceable leather, and the real skin.

Shoe leathers made of calfskin in imitation of alligator skin, for example, are beautiful in appearance and in the best grades are strong and durable, with all the qualities of good shoe leather, and yet are cheaper in price than shoes made of the skin which has been imitated.

Velours and gun metal are names generally used mainly for a smooth-finished black calfskin; but the terms are really privately owned by calfskin manufacturers. Mat calf is a soft, dull-finished calfskin which has been treated with beeswax and olive oil.

Russian calf, originally a split skin product of Russia, was at first highly regarded because of its pleasant odor and deep red color; but, although suitable for purses and other light ware, was not strong enough for shoe leather. American tanners, however, perfected the process of making it to a point where it became not only smooth and pliable but strong and durable, and so made it a good shoe leather.

Wax calf is an early tannage, very little used at present. It is finished on the flesh side of a skin with a waxlike surface. Burnished calf is similar in appearance and of finer quality.

Suède calf was first made in Sweden, and owes its French name to this fact. It is also known as ooze leather. Velvetta is a trade name suggesting the suède finish. All kinds of suède are finished on the flesh side in an attempt to imitate the nap surface and soft feel of velvet cloth. Suède wears well, not being as delicate as its appearance would seem to indicate. It looks like cloth but is all-leather and wears as leather should wear.

Glazed calf is made by applying a coloring mixture to the skin under pressure and then polishing it with a glass agate until a glossy finish has been attained.

Patent leather for shoes is made from patent colt, patent kid, patent side or cowhide, or patent calf. The general impression that patent colt and kid are superior to patent side or calf is not justified by the wearing qualities of the respective skins. Patent side and patent calf wear as well as the others. It all depends upon the manufacturers' nice discrimination in the selection of skins and parts of skins for making up into shoes. Side and calf leathers will, with equal care in the finishing of good selections, resist checking and cracking as well as colt or kid. Cracking is due to changes in temperature. A pair of patent leather shoes which has rested on or too near a radiator or other heating appliance and then is exposed to the winter cold out-side the house is likely to crack. In fact, no patent leather can be guaranteed not to crack.

Skins to be used in making patent leather are tanned with a view to imparting greater firmness to them. They are then freed of all grease to prepare them to receive the finish, which consists of a daub coat and one or two varnish coats. Boiled linseed oil is an essential ingredient of this varnish because it makes the leather flexible. After the final coat of varnish has been applied, the leather is heated to a temperature of from 120° to 140°, is dried out for twenty-four hours and then exposed to the sun for from six to ten hours, when it is ready for trimming and measuring.

It is difficult to distinguish good from inferior patent leather. The leather with the lighter finish in which the grain shows through the enamel is, perhaps, more serviceable than that in which the varnish is so thick as to hide the grain.

Cordovan is usually a horse or colt skin leather which takes a high polish and wears well. Genuine cordovan, or shell cordovan, is not, however, made from horsehide but from the fibrous shell or flat muscle beneath the hide. The word "cordovan" has come to be used in the trade to designate a red or mahogany shade of calfskin leather.

Chamois leather is no longer made from the skin of the Alpine goat but is an oil-tanned leather from the skin of other animals.

Kangaroo kid is generally kid finished in imitation of kangaroo, but it may be genuine kangaroo from Australia.

Castor kid is Persian lambskin finished like suede. It is light in weight and should be reënforced with a backing of cloth fabric in making it into shoes.

Kid leather for shoes is made from the skin of the adult goat and not from that of the kid. Because of the arrangement of the fibers, this is one kind of skin which cannot be split. There are sixty-eight varieties of goatskin, each with its own peculiarities in weight, grain, and thickness; and these may be finished in different ways. Perhaps one of the most popular finishes is glazed kid, commonly known as vici kid. It is made by burnishing the skin on the grain or hair side and then coloring it brown, black, or gray. Each manufacturer has his own trade name for his product, the term "vici kid" being itself the trade name of the out-put of a manufacturer.

Cloth Fabrics: Cotton fabrics are used mainly for shoe linings and also for backing for lightweight leathers to give firmness and to prevent stretching. In cheap shoes fabric backing is made to take over some of the functions of the leather. In other words, leather being more expensive than cotton cloth, a light inferior leather is backed or supported by the fabric. But a textile fabric can never be a satisfactory substitute for leather.

Where color is required for fancy pumps, slippers, cloth uppers, etc., the general practice is to dye the yarn before the fabric is woven or to apply the dye to the woven cloth pieces. In a lining, the wearing service is first in importance, whereas in interlining, bulk is an essential. The principal tests are for tensile strength and bursting stress. The first is based on the pull or extension that an inch of the warp and weft will stand, and the bursting stress is gauged by the cloth's resistance to pressure over a square inch of surface. A specified grade might be described as having a tensile strength of 80 pounds in the warp, 50 pounds in the weft, and 185 pounds bursting stress.

The cost of the very best lining for a pair of shoes is only twelve cents more than that of an inferior lining, and the best-grade lining will give 20 per cent longer wear than the poorer grade. But despite this there are far too many shoes made with poor-quality lining. What is known as interlining is a fabric between the leather and the lining to impart a feeling of fullness where lightweight leather has been used.

Stitching: Sewing and stitching on shoes is done with cotton, silk, or linen threads. Of these fully 80 per cent of the thread used is cotton. Linen is rarely used except for stitching on the soles, and silk is used chiefly to give a finer, richer appearance to the shoe.

Persons whose feet perspire excessively should guard against deterioration of even the best grades of shoes. Perspiration, because of the acid it contains, will eat through the lining and into the leather, with the result that the lining will wear out and the leather will crack at the vamp. No shoe will withstand the constant attack of perspiration.

Cork in Soles: Cork is used in shoe soles because it is virtually waterproof. In sheet form it is placed between the inner and outer soles, and a combination of cork shavings or ground cork and pitch is used as a filler in the space left where the upper leather is lapped over at the side of the sole. It is because of the cork filler that the inner soles of shoes sometimes develop bumps, lumps, or ridges conforming to the sole of the foot. This is not a blemish. No harm has been done. The shoe is just as good as ever.

Lasts : When lasts are mentioned by a salesman they should not be confused with the kind of last seen in store windows. The latter are the display members of the family, designed only to show off the shoe. The important last is the one used in the factory. It is made of the highest quality of seasoned maple wood or beech wood or may be the old-fashioned iron form. In the process of manufacture it is used for giving shape to the shoe, the average shoe remaining on the last from three days to a week or more during the process of construction. The last serves, in fact, as an anvil on which the shoe is hammered into shape. In a general way "last" is sometimes used as designating the style or form of a shoe.

Because rubber footwear must be vulcanized it has been found expedient to use a last made of aluminum in its manufacture. A great volume of footwear in combination of rubber and fabric is made on such lasts.

The Designer: Model lasts from which factory lasts are made are created by designers who must of necessity not only keep pace with, but endeavor to anticipate, changes in dress styles and make the shoe conform to them. It has been estimated that a shoe designer should be familiar with some 25,000 styles. The matter of long skirts or short skirts for women influences the shoe style. In men's shoes the tendency toward heavy or light apparel, to loose or snug-fitting garments, to coarse woolen or fine silk or lisle hose must all be considered in designing shoes. Time was when men wore the same pair of shoes the week around. Now we have shoes for dress wear, for work wear, for dancing, for golf, for tennis, for yachting and all forms of sport, for men and women and children in a great variety of leathers, lasts, and patterns. Pattern making for shoes has, in fact, been graduated into a separate industry with its own designers who are in-dependent of the organization of any single shoe factory, although some factories retain a pattern department.

Technical Terms: The toe of a man's shoe extends from the outermost tip of the shoe to where the box or cap ends.

The vamp begins where the toe ends and extends to the lacing. In women's shoes, where there is no box or cap, the vamp extends from the lacing to the end of the shoe. The trade recognizes three kinds of vamp: the whole vamp extending around the shoe in one piece and meeting at the back seam, the three-quarter vamp, and half vamp as indicated by their names.

Upper as used in the trade refers to all that part of the shoe above the sole the top, vamp, quarter, and lining.

The top is that part of the shoe which encloses the ankle and leg. Oxfords, pumps, and slippers have no tops.

When a three-quarter or half vamp is used the remaining part of the shoe below the top and above the sole is filled out with another piece of leather known as the quarter. Oxfords are usually made with a half vamp and two quarters.

The backstay is usually of leather and is stitched to the outside of the shoe at the back. It reënforces the seam and supports the top.

Lifts are separate pieces of sole leather used in making heels.

The shank is a strip of metal inserted between the heel and the ball of the sole to provide support.

Rubber Footwear : A great variety of boots, over-shoes, storm shoes, hunting and other heavy duty foot-wear is made of rubber, rubber and cloth fabric, rubber and fiber, or rubber and leather. Whatever the composition of the fabrication, the object sought is to make the boot or shoe waterproof. Soles and heels of ordinary walking shoes are also made of a rubber composition with the same object in view. As a substitute for the regulation sole leather a combination of fibrous material with a small amount of rubber has been found satisfactory. A variety of this kind of sole is known as the crêpe sole. A good fiber sole will outwear an inferior leather sole.

The choice of soles depends to a great extent upon the taste or the physical peculiarities, if any, of the individual shoe wearer. Persons whose feet are inclined to perspire freely find their feet uncomfortably warm in the summer and correspondingly cold in the winter. For these persons leather soles are better than fiber or combination soles because the latter do not permit the dampness to escape from the shoe. But the supply of first-quality sole leather is limited, and the fiber combination and the rubber sole and heel have been welcomed to supplement it.

Perhaps the most popular change from the old-style shoe was the addition of a layer of rubber to the heel. This softens the impact of the heel on the hard city pavement. Because of a tendency to slip on wet smooth surfaces, rubber heels are made with perforations or cavities in the tread with the idea of creating a vacuum by the pressure induced in walking.

The term "fiber" used in connection with soles and heels refers to leather scraps combined with rubber and then vulcanized; cotton fiber made of rags; wool waste felted with rubber and ground cork.

Shoe Inspection: Inspection of the finished product is carried out thoroughly in all shoe factories, and the faults and blemishes looked for there are precisely the faults and blemishes for which the shopper should look. No store at all careful of its reputation would try to sell defective goods, but there are dealers who might try to sell "seconds" or slightly damaged shoes or shoes a season or two behind the styles and ask an unreasonably high price for them.

Before buying a pair of shoes, tell the salesman for what kind of wear it is intended. A shoe suitable for use on a country road or on a rocky hill path would not be the kind of shoe you would want to wear in the city. Then look the shoe over for style. If the pattern suits, slip your hand inside and feel for protruding nails. Examine the lining and see that it does not bunch or wrinkle or that there are no heavy welts or seams likely to press uncomfortably on the foot.

In a very high-grade shoe, the upper leather should not show fat wrinkles. Such wrinkles do not affect the wearing qualities of a shoe but indicate that the leather at the wrinkle did not take the same finish or polish as the rest of the shoe.

Do not expect exact matching in color, texture, or grain of leather in a pair of shoes. Leather is a natural product, and the markings on two skins or on different parts of the same are not identical, nor do they always take precisely the same polish or shade of color. There should not, of course, be any pronounced difference and certainly both shoes should conform to pat-tern in every respect of cut, design, and sewing. But it is too much to expect, for example, that the skin markings on vamps, the quarters, or the heels of a pair of alligator skin shoes should be identical. Exact duplication is common in textiles but not in leather.

The tongue of the shoe may be of an inferior quality of leather because it is not subjected to hard usage, but the vamp and toes should be of good grade to withstand the strains to which they will be put. The top should be made of a close-grained leather that will hold its shape. In the cheaper grades of shoes, the weaker parts of the leather are along the upper edge or down the front along the eyelets. This is not a defect in this grade of shoes because these parts have a facing to reënforce them. It is not possible to judge the quality of leather in the sole without cutting into it, which, of course, is not permissible.

A shoe has passed through some two hundred operations before reaching the shopper, and slight defects in workmanship may slip through unmarked even in a rigid factory inspection. A knotted stitch in a thread, showing where the thread has been broken, will not lessen the weaving qualities of a shoe provided the splicing or knotting has been properly done.

See that the two sides of the divided top which open to admit the foot are symmetrical, that they meet evenly when closed. When the linings of the top have not been evenly folded before being stitched or where the eyelets have not been set exactly opposite to one another, the entire shoe when laced will be askew and uncomfortable.

Some apparent blemishes are really not defects at all; for example, calfskin shoes are likely to bloom, that is, become dull in color. A little rubbing will remove this bloom. Patent leather, too, may grow dull in warm weather. Here, also, rubbing with a soft cloth will restore the luster.

On the whole, it may be said if the shoes are really mates in pattern, color, and texture of leather or fabric; are symmetrical as to shape; are free of such defects as protruding nails, wrinkled linings; uneven eyelets and broken or improperly spliced threads, they may be accepted as a good job, always, of course, within the limitations of the grade you are buying, because it would not be reasonable to expect the same quality of leather in a cheap as in an expensive shoe.

Fitting the Shoe : And now a word of caution to the shopper-a most important word! Be sure to get a shoe that fits. The finest product of the best factory in the world is useless when worn on the wrong pair of feet. No matter what size you think you wear, or what size you wore two, three, five, or ten years ago, have the salesman measure your feet and fit you accordingly. Feet vary in conformation almost as much as faces, no two being exactly alike. For this reason measurements should be made on a more or less elastic scale and store salesmen are provided with a measuring stick which only approximates the standard sizes. Lasts also vary. An 8C in one make of shoe is not always the same as an 8C of another make, so the shopper should be less insistent upon size by number than upon the fit, regardless of what he or she may think the size should be in number and letter. The average foot, for example, can wear in comfort a shoe within a range of four or five width sizes. Either an 8½A or an 8½B or an 8C of certain makes might fit a foot, depending upon the variation in size between the different makes.

The only correct method of measuring a foot is the "ball and heel fitting." In this the widest part of the shoe comes at the ball of the foot. This may be tested by putting on a pair of shoes and bending the shoe by lifting the heel and pressing forward on the ball of the foot as in walking. If the shoes fit, they will "break" or wrinkle across the vamp at the widest part. As to length, it should be borne in mind that the toes of the foot should not go all the way to the front end or toe of the shoe. There should be at least three-quarters of an inch leeway to allow for the thrust or expansion of the foot in walking.

Forget about size and insist upon fit.

Slippers : Comments upon shoes apply in general to slippers, within limitations imposed by differences in size and the purpose for which they are used. The standards for slippers diverge from those for shoes most pronouncedly in the direction of lightness of weight and greater flexibility. The construction is not so rigid, the leather is not so stiff, the soles are thinner and softer, often being of a chrome split calfskin and, if stiff, of flexible bend soles.

Slippers come in a variety of patterns, with or with-out heels; lined with fur or fleece or even unlined; of kid, alligator, calf, or side leather or felt. The sewing or stitching should be closely examined because upon this feature of construction depends to a great extent the wearing quality of the slipper. Note the thoroughness of the stitching where the sole is joined to the upper; the stiffness or rigidness of the part which fits around the heel and the flexibility of the slipper as a whole.

Ease of fit is an all-important consideration. The slipper should be wider than the shoe size usually worn. Comfort is the prime essential in a slipper.

While women's hats may be of various fabrics, the common materials for both men's and women's hats are felt and straw. All men's hats on the American market, with the exception of the silk hat or "topper," are made from one or the other of these two materials.

Felts : The wool hat was introduced from the Near East by the Crusaders and for a time it took precedence over the cap made from fur with the hair on the out-Side. Then it was discovered that the separate hairs of fur could be meshed or felted and that the product was far superior in wearing qualities to wool felt. The process of felting fur has been improved since then to such an extent that fur felt is now in general use for hats, although a cheap wool felt is still made in Germany.

The better-grade felt hats are manufactured from the shorter hairs of the furs of the rabbit, hare, muskrat, South American rat, beaver, and nutria. This last is the name of a South American water animal, in size between a muskrat and a beaver. It is the strongest and finest of the hat furs, and quality in a hat is deter-mined largely by the amount of nutria used in its manufacture.

Briefly, the process of manufacture is as follows: By means of a powerful fan a mass of loose hair is driven against a revolving copper cone. The fur thus clotted is wound around with wet canvas and dipped into hot water; this partially felts the fur. Next follows a series of weltings and shrinkings interspersed with mechanical beating to hasten the felting. Then a sizing machine reduces the mass to the dimensions required for blocking. Through this stage the manufacture of both stiff and soft hats is the same. If a derby or other stiff hat is to be made the felt is then dipped into a solution of shellac; in the case of a soft hat, only the brim is so treated. Thereafter the hat is dyed, blocked to the exact shape and size, dried out, and "pounced" that is, rubbed with fine emery paper. Finally, it is ironed, lined, and trimmed.

Straws : In this type of hat the workmanship is generally of greater importance than the material used. Many of the varieties take their names from the braid or plait used; the sennit (that is, seven knit), the split, and the pineapple straws are cases in point. In other instances, the names are derived from the cities or provinces in which the hats are made; here the Leghorn, Milan, Bangkok, and Panama straws are well-known examples.

The great bulk of the straw is imported into this and European countries from China and Japan; but most of the machinery used was invented in the United States, and one of the finest grades of straw hats on the market is turned out by a New York factory. In the machine-made hat, the straw is plaited in long, narrow strips which are sewed together along the edges and then shaped into the required pattern. The quality of the thread, the thoroughness of the sewing, and the nature of the trimmings are all factors in fixing the grade of the finished product. The trimmings alone on a straw hat may range in value from $1.50 to $7.50.

Panamas: The only hats that are really woven by hand are the Panamas and the Bangkoks. Guayaquil, Ecuador, is the great center of the so-called Panama hat industry; and Colombia and the Central American countries export a great many hats of this type. The best of them are made by native women in the early morning when the dew is falling and the fine palm fibers are pliable and can be plaited easily. Panamas are graded according to the fineness and uniformity of the weave and to the softness and pliability of the fiber.

Peanut straws are the bleached imitations of the genuine article. However plausible the story of the salesman or peddler may sound, do not expect to get a real Panama for two or three dollars. They cannot be made and imported for anywhere near that price.

The lightest weight straws are the Bangkoks, which are named for the city in Siam, and which are hand-woven by the natives of that country. Besides its Leg-horns and Milans, Italy produces the cheapest hats and exports great quantities of them to us; while some of the finest braids come from England.

Silk Hats : The high hat of ceremony is built up of several plies of muslin cheesecloth saturated with shellac and covered with silk plush. The standard construction is three plies for the crown and four for the brim. After the brim has been curled, cashmere cloth is glued to the underside, the binding is sewn on, the sweatband is whipped in, and the hat is lined and ironed.

Trimming and Lining: All hats are finished with bands or ribbons which may be of silk or of some cotton fabric; but all are not bound around the brim, nor are all of them lined. Where lining is used, it may be of silk or of cotton. The best sweatbands are cut from goatskin. The purpose of this band is not to absorb perspiration but to keep it from reaching and discoloring the body of the hat and its trimmings. In the cheaper grades of hats, oilcloth is sometimes substituted for a leather sweatband, with results that are not altogether satisfactory.


Caps are made of both cloth and animal skins and may be lined or unlined. The fur; skin, or leather caps are not so common as formerly when seal, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, and other fur caps were worn in win-ter. They have been relegated to the hunting and out-door sports fields, where extra-warm head covering is required.

Cloth caps either are made from several pieces of fabric sewed together or are of one piece. Many textiles are suitable for this purpose, from coarse weaves of heavy tweeds, felted meltons, and kerseys, to the finer worsteds, linens, and silks. The sewing on caps, whether overlock, flat, nover seam, or other stitching be used, should be strong and durable with the best-quality thread; and the sweatband should be of leather. The usual tests for fabrics may be applied, always, of course, with particular reference to the purpose for which the cap is to be used (see Chapter VIII, Tex-tiles). Visors or peaks are made of buckram or card-board covered with the same material as the crown and should be stiff enough to withstand ordinary usage.

Caps, always high in the favor of boys, are worn by men mainly on outings, or when attending or participating in sports events. For some of these occasions a particular form or style of cap is preferred. Motorists may wear leather caps; hunters, caps of heavy canvas, corduroy, or leather; fishermen, caps of duck or water-proofed canvas, and golfers, caps of soft woolens, harsher tweeds, or silk or linen. But whatever the material, the cut or style and the durability of the sewing are essentials to satisfactory wear.


Sweaters have emerged from the exclusively sports class and are now considered as handy, ready-to-wear, general purpose garments. Aside from its style, the requisites of a good sweater are quality of material, workmanship, and, highly important, the eut and fit. As to material they may be broadly divided into the all-wool and the wool-and-cotton mixtures. Of the wools, the kinds and grades in the order of preference are cashmere, camel's hair, alpaca, mohair, and what is known simply as worsted.

Materials: The soft, long-fiber wool yarns are the best for these garments, but simply to say that a sweater is all-wool does not imply that the material should have this soft quality. The yarn in a garment may be of a coarse grade of wool and consequently be comparatively harsh to the touch. The softer grades are preferable because in addition to their finer texture they have a greater affinity for dyes; are richer in color and react better to proper handling in the process of manufacture.

Hand and Machine Made : Virtually all American-made sweaters are machine-knitted. Some of the foreign products are hand-knitted either with needles or with the aid of hand looms. The handmade sweater is, perhaps, the more satisfactory from the viewpoint of style because it admits of a greater variety of pat-terns and possesses an individuality esteemed by those who want something distinctive and out of the ordinary run. But the machine-made sweater will stand as much hard usage, will wear as well as the hand-knitted garment.

Dyes: Most of the better-grade sweaters manufactured in this country are made of imported yarns, which are better in quality and dyes than the American product. Of the dyes generally, it may be said, however, that they are of good, fast colors except in some of the very cheap sweaters, from which, of course, too much must not be expected in either material, dye, or workmanship. In standard goods such as sweaters you get about what you pay for. The only difficulty likely to be experienced with the dyes is that in a white sweater ornamented with a colored stripe or other dyed decoration, the color, in the cheaper grades, may run, in most cases because of lack of care in washing the garment.

Cut and Fit : All kinds of sweaters, pullovers, coats, jackets, and vests should be full cut. That is, what-ever the style, they should be roomy all over; should not bind or feel tight at the shoulders, under the arms or at any other place, and should be of ample length. This amplitude in fitting is one of the most important considerations in selecting a sweater garment. The experience of a large New York department store will serve as an illustration. Two lots of sweaters were received, one selling for $7.94 and the other for $3.69 a garment. They were identical as to quality of yarn, and offhand one would say there was little if anything to choose between them. But there was a difference, a big difference. The higher-priced goods, made by a nationally known firm, were of ample fit. Really "full-cut" in every respect, they were good value. The other lot of precisely the same wool content had been turned out by a small manufacturing house which had bought a job lot of yarn and had skimped or saved wherever possible in the making. The cheaper grades were dear even at the great discrepancy in price.


Among the general purpose garments for rough outdoor wear are the Mackinaws. These are made of wool prepared by a special process and tightly woven so that the fibers knit or lock very closely, producing what is really a wool felt. It is, in fact, one of the outstanding examples of the felting quality of wool, an attribute of the fibers, which is taken advantage of in making broadcloth. Mackinaw cloth keeps out the cold, resists dampness, and will stand an appreciable amount of wetness before soaking through. A good grade is thick to the feel, so closely woven as to be felted or matted. When it is dyed the colors stand out clearly; whereas in the poorer grades, which contain a quantity of short fibered shoddy, the colors are blurred or dirty, a red, for example, appearing as a dull maroon. The shoddy garment may be well cut, but the lack of clearness in color exposes its humble origin.


The greater part of the wear for hunters and fisher-men is made of a good grade of duck or canvas cloth and is sold mainly on the manufacturer's brand. The competition in this line is keen, and the goods are nationally advertised. It has been noted as a peculiarity of the average huntsman or fisherman that, once he "is sold" on a particular brand, he sticks to it with the conservativeness characteristic of his fondness for a certain make of shotgun, rifle, fishing rod or reel.

Heavyweight duck is almost waterproof. As a rule the cloth in established brands is good; so it is the workmanship in a garment that really distinguishes the higher from the lower grades. In trousers or knickers the knees should be of double thickness of cloth and, as is true also of coats, jackets, and other garments, all seams should be lapped or doubled and tightly sewn. Even in the lighter-weight ducks it is the labor expended on them that counts for the most because the difference in price between a good-grade cloth and a poor one is such a slight factor that it does not pay to use inferior material.

The shopper is strongly advised to make certain that all garments from shirts to coats and trousers are full-cut and at least one and preferably two sizes larger than the everyday clothing. Make certain there has been no skimping in the cutting of the cloth and that there is a generous allowance in length and width and roominess all over the garment.

The suggestions about size and cut apply with equal force to blouses and shirts. Outing shirts of the best grades are made of woolen fabrics; others of wool and cotton mixtures. An excessive amount of cotton can be detected by feeling the material. Wool is warm, whereas cotton, by contrast, is cold and clammy to the touch, and this fabric lacks the resiliency of all-wool materials. There is, of course, a marked difference in price between woolen shirts and wool-and-cotton mixture. Do not, however, expect that even a pure wool hunting shirt will be as soft and fine in texture as the wool shirt made for tennis and other sports players. The garment for the hunter and fisherman is made of flannel of the coarser-fibered wools and is comparatively rough. It is intended for hard usage in camp and field, not for semisocial or exhibition sports.


Outing clothes, made of leather lined with cloth or of sheepskin pelt with the wool left on, have also won popularity for sports wear. In considering garments of this type, it should be remembered that leather is not warm in itself, but, being windproof, it assures the efficiency of the clothes worn under it; Leather is showerproof, not waterproof ;

Leather presents a smooth and comparatively hard surface to briars and thorns but, when badly scratched or cut, it is very difficult to mend.

Split skins are too weak for the better-grade garments.

Sheepskin and horsehide are the most common leathers for garments of this type, and suède is the most common finish. "Cape skin" has come to be the trade term for any medium or heavy skin with the grain showing, taken from domestic, Australian, African, Spanish, or Russian sheep; but its use should rightly be restricted to the South African product whose market is centered in Cape Town. The South African skins are the best, but they have become only a small part of the "cape skins" in American stores.

Difference in Grades: The shopper may be puzzled at finding two or three garments made of the same kind of leather but selling at different prices. This discrimination is due, in part, to better matching of skins, to more pleasing harmony of color, and to more uniform thickness in the pieces in the higher priced goods than in the cheaper ones. White or other discordant spots or blemishes are to be avoided. The leather should take the dye evenly on all the pieces which go to make up the garment.

The matter of "footage," or length, is also important. As in all sports wear, there should be no skimping of material. A full-cut jacket of medium size should measure twenty-five inches from the knit collar to the knit cuff on the bottom. In some jackets, this measurement is only twenty-three inches, a skimping of two inches. The same skimping methods may have been used on the sleeves, and in the width over the back, causing the jacket or coat to bind across the shoulders.

This saving in material may permit a lower price for such a garment than for a garment that is full cut, but the shopper is not really buying cheaper. He is getting, simply, less leather and paying for what he gets at relatively the same price he would have paid for a garment with a full complement of material. In other words, five square inches of leather costs less than ten square inches. But not all dealers are so scrupulously careful of the shoppers' interests, and the temptation is great to charge the same price for the skimped garment as for one that is full-cut.

Coats and Jackets : The better-grade coats and jackets are made of horsehide, which is highly regarded for this purpose because it is exceedingly tough, wears well, and will not chip or crack. These garments are lined with woolen fabrics in solid colors, plaid and other de-signs, or with sheepskin pelt with the wool on. Some, made in topcoat lengths, are attractive in appearance and suitable for wear to sports events and for outings, other than hunting and fishing, in severe weather. The jackets and coats of glove leather are not so satisfactory, perhaps, as those of horsehide because the leather has a tendency to crack and break. Excellent garments of this kind are also made of calfskin. Cowskin coats are heavy and bulky and are not so good in appearance or in wearing quality as those of horsehide or calfskin.

Because all leather garments are worn over other clothing they should be a size or two sizes larger than the clothing they cover. Amplitude of material, fullness of cut, giving ease and comfort, are important considerations in connection, of course, with quality of material.


Whereas gloves and hosiery present much the same considerations in both men's and women's wear, there are certain items on the list of men's furnishings which require more specific attention. These are shirts, neck-ties, mufflers, pajamas, and underwear. In every case the fundamental factor is the suitablity of the fabric for the use and durability which the purchaser expects of the garment selected.

Shirts : Men's shirts are made mostly of cotton fabrics such as batiste, woven madras, poplin or broad-cloth, percale, and oxford. The pure linen shirt is seldom seen nowadays; for one thing it wouldn't survive the cleansing chemicals used in some of the big laundries nearly so well as cotton. The flannel shirt, too, is not nearly so much in evidence as formerly, most men preferring lightweight garments that will stand considerable wear, as witness the sudden popularity of the poplin or broadcloth shirt. Detachable cuffs also have passed out, but the separate white collar for colored as well as for white shirts has apparently come to stay.

A shirt becomes an irritating annoyance instead of a comfort if it grips under the arms, binds across the shoulders, or is too long or too short in the sleeves. For these reasons the first requisite in any kind of shirt, no matter what the material, is correct size or fit. Shirts are offered in half sizes to permit of a nice discrimination in the fit of the garment. The wearing of a collar half a size larger than the shirt is no longer necessary. A 15 neckband, for example, takes a 15 collar, although some men from force of habit prefer a 1514 collar with a 15 shirt. There need be no hesitancy, however, in buying a collar of the same size as the shirt, because manufacturers invariably make due allowance in the collar so that it will fit the shirt snugly.

Too many men's shirts are bought by size of the neckband with no thought that the sleeves as well should be a good fit. Sleeves now come in lengths of 33, 34, and 35 inches, in all sizes of shirts, with the extremely short 32-inch sleeves and the extremely long 36-inch sleeves in some makes. In shopping for shirts, ask for correct sleeve length as well as collar size.

The cut and other workmanship on a shirt should be of the best, but see that the stitching is not too fine; otherwise the closeness of the sewing cuts the material or leaves too little of it to give the thread a good grip. All the sewing on shirts is now done by machine with cotton thread. In the better-grade shirts the important seams are lapped and stitched on both edges of the lap or double-stitched, the neckbands are of doubled material to give them stiffness and are carefully, neatly, and strongly sewn.

The plain white shirt holds its own in the day-by-day demand, but garments may be obtained in a great variety of color combinations and designs, with blue, tan, and gray apparently colors that hold their own over a stretch of years.

The fabrics of which shirts are made, are a matter of personal choice. They come in all grades and are to be judged as to weave, texture, or print as all fabrics are judged, and with a view, of course, to their suitability to the purpose for which they are to be used. (See Chapter VIII, Textiles.)

Neckties : In neckties, virtually everything used in the way of material, outside of real English Spitalfields silk, has some rayon in the fabric, and such goods are no longer guaranteed as pure silk. Even the imported goods, with the exception noted, have rayon in them. The use of rayon in these fabrics is, however, not regarded as detracting from their desirability. Rayon brings out the luster of the material in a necktie where pure silk would be dead in color. Neckties, after all, sell largely on their appearance and may be of cotton and fiber, provided the color and pattern are attractive. Beware of advertisements of "pure silk" neck-ties, for few are to be had in the general run of stores.

Mufflers : Mufflers are made of crêpe de chine, cashmere, woolen mixtures, rayon, rayon mixtures, and pure silk. The brush wools and embroidered goods have practically disappeared from the market. In such comparatively simple fabrications the quality of the material is the first consideration, but the dye and design should be closely observed and, where the price justifies it, a guarantee that the color is fast should be demanded.

Pajamas: Men's pajamas may be had in four sizes: A, from 36 to 38 chest measurement; B, 38 to 40; C, 40 to 42, and D, the largest regular size. Some stores also carry an additional extra-large size. But, whatever the size selected, the garment should be large enough for comfort.

Pajamas are made up in percales, woven madras, mercerized cloth, broadcloth, flannel, flannelette, and silk, with a wide range of color patterns. The dyes in both shirts and pajamas are, with the exception of the cheap-grade goods, uniformly good, but it would be well in this connection to distinguish between what are known as "commercially fast" dyes and really fast dyes. The former are sold without a guarantee and may fade, run, or wash out when laundered.

Be cautious in patronizing "bargain sales" where shirts or pajamas are advertised by sizes at such exceptional prices as "$5 shirts for $1.50." The chances are that these goods are skimpy in cut, or loud, undesirable, out-of-fashion in color and pattern, or of cheap dyes. In reputable stores when cuts in prices in several articles in a lot are mentioned in an advertisement, it is a rule that at least one-third of the articles offered shall have been sold previously at the highest price named, the rest scaling down to a price that was honestly higher than the new sale price. Unfortunately, this is not the usual practice. In many stores, a very few of the highest-grade and highest-priced articles will be thrown on the sales counter together with a great mass of cheaper stuff, the store counting on the few real bargains offered to attract a crowd of shoppers on whom to unload the goods which have been found to be unsalable at the regular prices.

Underwear : Men are beginning to consider the en-tire matter of clothing from the viewpoint of hygiene and health as well as immediate bodily comfort. With their homes and offices at almost summer temperature the year round and with overcoats and heavy suitings for wear outside the house, the tendency is to use lighter undergarments. This is particularly true of the younger men, who are mainly responsible for the vogue of athletic underwear in preference to the standard-cut styles. A majority of the underwear sales of the largest department store in New York City are of the athletic type, and these, in most instances, are of much lighter weight than the heavy woolens of grand-father's day.

But whatever the style or cut of the garments, the shopper still faces the problem of the kind of material to select. In both knitted and woven fabrics, we have a choice between those of cotton, wool, silk, rayon, and flax or linen, and a variety of mixtures of these fibers. Every one of these fabrics possesses certain inherent properties peculiar to itself, which should be known and appreciated as an aid to intelligent judgment.

Cotton becomes highly absorbent when bleached.

It is not greatly affected by heat or moisture and can therefore be plunged into boiling water and readily sterilized in the process of washing or laundering. Because it quickly absorbs perspiration and allows of rapid evaporation it is highly regarded for summer wear. It is often combined with silk or wool, and in proper weights can also be made into suitable winter garments. But cotton is not so warm as wool and the shopper looking for warmth in undergarments should not permit himself to be talked into believing anything to the contrary.

Wool provides greater warmth than any other kind of cloth because the serrated, kinky, resilient fibers hold air in the interstices and thus form an insulation against the outside temperature; at the same time the heat from the body is retained within the garment for a longer period and to a greater degree than is the case with underwear made of other materials. It is highly absorbent because the fibers are porous and readily gather moisture. When wetted, raw wool shrinks, especially if the water be hot or boiling. The better grade of wool garments have been preshrunk to guard against undue shortening later. In cleansing them a mild soap and lukewarm water should be used, and they should not be subjected to much in the way of rubbing, because rubbing meshes the fibers.

Silk, when pure, is a very strong fabric. It is also extremely elastic and a silk garment, when stretched, readily springs back into its original shape. Unfortunately, silk is too often "loaded" or otherwise chemically treated to give it more weight. This process does not improve the fabric; on the contrary it is likely to cause it to rot or wear out quickly. When a piece of silk feels heavy it does not follow that it is high grade. As good silk will absorb 30 per cent of its own weight in moisture, silk underwear will take up body perspiration rapidly. It also releases moisture quickly. This rapid-drying attribute makes silk suit-able for combining with wool to accelerate evaporation. Silk garments should not be washed in very hot water nor with strong alkali soaps.

Linen is absorbent and dries quickly. It is cool and hence desirable for summer wear. It is not very elastic but has great tensile strength. It is easily sterilized.

Rayon is as strong as cotton when it is dry, but loses strength when wetted or loaded with moisture. In appearance rayon looks to the uninitiated more like silk than silk itself. Too many unscrupulous dealers or salesmen encourage a shopper to believe that a cot-ton and rayon or wool and rayon weave or knitted garment is a mixture containing silk. The rayon yarns in stripes or other designs are highly lustrous, where silk is duller in effect. As rayon cannot withstand high temperatures, it can be washed but not sterilized.

Athletic Style Underwear: Reference has been made to the broad division of underwear into knitted and woven goods and then into athletic and so-called standard styles. The athletic type is now made of woven and knitted fabrics, including cottons, woolens, silks, silk mixtures, and rayon mixtures. In the knitted wear of this kind a popular style is the pull-over shirt without sleeves or buttons, and very short drawers. There is a growing demand for drawers tailored with very short legs above the knee, sometimes called shorts or trunks. This garment is made of woven fabrics in white or a variety of colors and stripes.

Standard Type Underwear: In the regular or standard type undergarments, the shirts are made with long or short sleeves to cater to individual taste, and the drawers are of knee or of ankle length.

Random Cotton: There has appeared in the market a knitted fabric designed, perhaps, to masquerade as a wool mixture but containing no wool. It is what is known as "random cotton," that is, cotton which has been treated with dyes to obtain a gray color or a shade of tan or brown in spots, giving it the appearance of wool or worsted cloth. The cotton used is a good quality of combed yarns, giving it the wool feel to the touch. This random process has been abused by some manufacturers to the point of introducing a bit of real wool and labeling the product "part wool." A test made in the laboratory of a New York store disclosed but one-third of one per cent of wool in a sample garment, yet the manufacturer had been selling it on the statement that it contained from 10 to 20 per cent wool. The entire lot of garments was then tested and showed the same discrepancy. As a matter of fact it was learned later that the manufacturer him-self had, in this instance, been deceived by the spinner of the yarns. Rayon, lisle, and other mixtures should be named as such.

The Cut and Finish: In the cut and make-up of men's underwear it is essential that it be roomy with-out being bulky; should not bind or catch no matter what the position of the body; should be so comfort-able and easy that the wearer is not conscious of its presence. In some of the cheaper grades, or even in the more pretentious ones sold at a good price, job lots of garments are occasionally found in which the cloth has been skimped. The saving of an inch or two inches in the length or width of a shirt or drawer; skimping on the sleeves, the collar or yoke or at the arm holes means a pretty penny to the manufacturer. In a woolen garment this may amount to four or five dollars in a dozen suits in actual saving on weight of wool alone. The Bureau of Standards at Washing-ton has taken cognizance of this feature of underwear manufacture and has published the Association of Knit Underwear Manufacturers of America standards of measurements for all sizes, to which all styles should conform. Copies of this publication may be had by manufacturers and dealers on application at Washington.

In knitted garments the overlock seam used in light or medium material is soft, elastic, and virtually unrippable and stands out in a slight ridgelike line. The flatlock seam is three times as wide as the overlock, lies flat on the surface, is durable and will not ravel.

The arm holes should preferably be taped and the necks finished with yokes. Waist bands of combinations should be triple-sewed and in the best grades should be of combed resilient yarns. The best buttons are the ocean pearls, which are about three times as costly as the fresh-water pearls. They should be attached with six-thread sewing where ordinarily the thread is drawn through and crossed but three times.

In knitted garments the shopper should insist upon examining the standard yarns used and demand the correct proportion of cotton, wool, silk, or rayon used in content of the fabric; and for the sake of emphasis let it be repeated that all garments should be full-cut in conformity with the standard of measurements.

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