Aim to have your own dressing-room a perfect picture of elegance, presenting everything you find most beautiful and inspiring to higher emotions. Even if it consists only of a mirror perched atop a little antique commode, and a small armoire at the corner of your bedroom, remember that it is nevertheless your dressing-room and as such the temple of Beauty.
Keep the inspiration of the grandest dressing-rooms clear in your mind’s eye. Some dressing-rooms have their walls entirely covered with tiles – blue, pink, or pale green. This tiling has the merit of being bright and clean, but the effect is a little cold to both sight and touch. Hangings are generally preferred; they should be in neutral tints or very undecided tones, so as not to clash with the colours of the dresses. Very often light or bright-coloured silks are covered over with tulle or muslin, so as to attenuate their vividness and at the same time preserve their texture from the effect of vapour.
Sometimes the walls are hung with large-patterned cretonnes or coloured linens; but cotton or linen stuffs are always a little hard, and any very conspicuous pattern on the walls is apt to detract from the effect of the toilette, which should be the one thing to attract the eye when its wearer is in the room. Personally, I prefer a dressing-room to be hung with sky-blue or crocus-lilac under point d’esprit tulle. These hangings, which will form an admirable background to dresses of no matter what colour, should be ornamented with insertions of lace.
Keeping the dressing-room in perfect order requires constant discipline in maintaining neatness. The many articles required in a lady’s wardrobe make a neat arrangement of her drawers and closets necessary, and also require care in selecting and keeping goods in proper order. Each article of dress, when taken off, should be placed carefully and smoothly in its proper place. Nice dresses should be hung up by a loop on the inside of the waistband, with the skirts turned inside out, and the body turned inside of the skirt. Cloaks should hang in smooth folds from a loop on the inside of the neck. Shawls should be always folded in the creases in which they were purchased. All fine articles, lace, embroidery, and handkerchiefs, should be placed by themselves in a drawer, always laid out smoothly, and kept from dust. Furs should be kept in a box, alone, and in summer carefully packed, with a quantity of lump camphor to protect from moths. The hat should always rest upon a stand in the band-box, as the shape and trimming will both be injured by letting it lie either on the face, sides, or crown. Even the most gorgeous dressing-room soon degenerates into a trash-heap, if the owner of the room does not teach herself to put each item in it’s designated place immediately.