And last but certainly not least, the older woman! After the past two weeks of flat on my back, coughing my lungs out, no voice, sneezing, and wheezing misery I feel down right ancient. I am pretty sure shuffling around in my bathrobe and slippers with kleenex stuffed in my sleeves, my pockets, and my nose complete the look :-p
So what kind of advice does Ms. Conover have for the mature woman?
Whether you are growing older from forty or fifty or sixty, there are certain changes in your figure. Perhaps you are growing stouter, either all over or through your bust or hips and abdomen. Perhaps your chest has flattened. You may not stand so erect.
You will have to suit your clothes to your new figure. They can be just as charming, but they will have to be different. What you want are clothes that will do kindly things–soften the lines of your figure.
Ahhhh…..she had to say it all. The stooping, drooping, spreading, never ending fight against gravity and time. So how do we face the inevitable and come out looking our very best?
The older woman will do well to avoid the extreme fads of fashion, for to be really becoming, her clothes must have a certain dignity.
There is the question of the length of the skirt. Consult a full length peer glass when you are having the hem of your skirt turned. You will find a long skirt more graceful than a short one. It is impossible to give a general rule for the length of skirt that will become every older woman, but five inches from the floor usually is about right.
The width of the skirt is another point where the older woman must use her own good judgement, regardless of what is decreed by some French couturiere. A slip of a girl, who really hasn’t much figure, can wear an extremely tight skirt, but when you are older and have hips to consider, such a skirt is quite out of the question. However, there is no need to go to the other extreme and wear old fashioned clothes. It’s a fact that conservative, medium width skirts are in style season in and season out.
So pretty much the rule that carries across the board is avoid fads at all cost, no matter you size or age. Fads do no favors for anyone except the company marketing the momentary gimmick.
I do love her final advice for the mature, older woman. A little bit of something to look forward to for those who are not quite there yet 😉
I might add a word about comfort, too. Wear comfortable clothes. No woman looks her best if her corsets are digging into her side and her collar choking her, or her skirt whipping around her ankles every time she steps. Clothes you enjoy wearing are usually becoming.
If you want to dress for an enduring smartness that will last a whole afternoon or a whole day, wear comfortable clothes.
If I stretch the rules a little bit my bathrobe is a perfect fit. Don’t worry, I have no intentions of leaving the house until spring 🙂
This is the last Sensible Sunday for a while. I hope to continue on through some of Ms. Conover’s hand sewing lessons in a few weeks, but I will need to make up some tutorials to go with it. I may not have much time for sewing/blogging for the next 6 weeks or so because we are packing to move to our new house!!! We were thinking ahead and made our closing date later in the spring so hopefully we won’t be trudging through snow banks 🙂
I am writing these articles from my own personal collection of Ms. Conover’s dressmaking series, but this series is available to any of you that would like to read the complete work (or part of, not all 12 lessons are available). This series was originally published in 1921 and is now in the public domain. If you would like to study this more in depth you can read directly from the source yourself without my commentary My version was released in 1922 so it may be slightly different from what you find here, but it should be very similar. You can download the entire first lesson in either Adobe or PDF format.