Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vintage Inspiration for a Mature Woman's Wardrobe

(Let's hope she likes neutrals!)

* a silver-gray silk--"she had white hair, and the effect was beautiful"

* a black silk dress

* white dresses--"that's what my chum's grandmother used to wear when I went visiting in the summer"

* real lace collars, to go with the gray silk

* half a dozen plain collars for everyday wear

* a gray voile dress, very simple and elegant, lined with gray silk and trimmed with lace dyed to match (reduced from sixty dollars to thirty)
(hopefully she likes neutrals!)

* a coat and skirt suit of fine soft black taffeta, for traveling

* a handsome black cloth coat for cool days

* a black and white dotted swiss dress

* a white linen suit

* a handsome black crepe de chine dress

* a black chiffon waist (blouse)

* filmy, dreamy, white shirtwaists, simple and plain in design, and exquisite lace simply applied, fine handmade tucks and finer material

* white linen and white lawn for morning wear at the seashore

* two white linen skirts

* several pairs of silk gloves, black and white, undergarments dainty enough for a bride, a dozen pairs of stockings

* a black lace bonnet on a foundation of white roses, with a drapery of fine black lace which swept around the roses and tied loosely on the breast

* a lace wrap from the cloak department

* a plain black bonnet

* a sweet little gray bonnet

*  a fine silk umbrella

* a lot of pretty belts and handkerchiefs

* some shoes and rubbers

* a handbag of cut steel

Grace Livingston Hill wrote Aunt Crete's Emancipation in 1911. It contains an exhaustive description (this list is verbatim) for a dream wardrobe for a woman of mature years.


Anonymous said...

CertaCertainly it would set order out of a chaotic wardrobe needing direction. And, cause one to look quite elegant and fashionable at the same time. Because of course, one can see the principles and apply them to the modern. Best regards and thank You! Jamie

Anonymous said...

Please Excuse the Errors.

Unknown said...

I liked this book!

susanhal said...

A cut steel handbag ?!! and arms to go with it i suppose.
how funny and quaint it all sounds and inactive some how.
i prefer my jeans and cashmere jumper and i am mature , (chuckling)

Lisa said...

Very, very elegant. I had to google cut steel; I've seen those bags before but didn't know what they were made of! But soft taffeta? Is there really such a thing?


seashoreknits said...

Oh joy! A new-to-me GLH book!
Downloading it right now from Project Gutenberg.
Thank you dear Anna.
And I would dearly love to have some of these fine garments in my own wardrobe.
Lawn and linen and delicate voile -

Peggy Carlson said...

Anna, I used to enjoy your other blog, Neat and Dainty as a Flower, but now when I try to view it by clicking on the link, it takes me to my google email sign in. Am I doing something wrong? Your posts make my day, every day. Peggy in Virginia

Mary Sorensen said...

Love, love, love, Grace Livingston Hill! I get much motivation from all her books on fashion, housekeeping, interior decorating, food, etc. I think the above list sounds lovely and elegant....already thinking of a couple of those things for myself. : ) Thanks for this post!

Polly said...

My kingdom for a fine silk umbrella!

I remember reading this story and enjoying details of Aunt Crete's wardrobe very much. There's more black in it than I would have thought (somehow I figured back in the Old Days black was reserved for mourning only), but it's pretty delicious nonetheless.

Marlaine said...

Re-read all my GLH short stories this past winter. This one always brings a smile,,,AND thanks to God that I have no family members like her sister and niece! Yikes!

Erin said...

Maybe old photos aren't black and white after all but merely people dressing only in whites, greys, and blacks!

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