It is advisable to either keep your hair short (within reason) or if long, outside your boudoir keep it in a chignon or other becoming coiffure. Loose long hair can be picturesque in the right setting, but on the street, visiting your friends, conducting business of any kind, etc., it will only appear inelegant and moreover loose hair bound to get soiled and tangled. Loose tresses are always somewhat intimate in their appearance, and in public breach the commands of good taste. Maiden wandering in the woods in spring or field of flowers in summer, absorbed in rapturous aesthetic pleasure and her locks floating free in the breeze, is a sweet vision. However, the same locks floating free in a crowded city street or omnibus are simply wrong, and also unhygienic. It is most unpleasant in a crowded street-car or shop to have strangers’ loose hair brush one’s walking suit and leave stray hairs behind.
For most women, easily arranged everyday hairstyle is not completely flattering on its own. It needs the help of a hat to form a pleasing frame for the face. A well-chosen hat can fade away all displeasing irregularities of facial features and transform an unremarkable woman into a radiant beauty. For this reason it is frankly unfathomable, why this indispensable asset to a woman’s chic has been so thoroughly abandoned, even if one does not hold propriety, tradition and living mode of millinery in any esteem.
Every woman should own at least one giddy hat for the lift it gives to her spirit. If she can make her lighthearted topper herself, so much the better! Swirls of veiling twisted around a bunch of flowers and secured into a base cut from an old hat is soft and utterly feminine headpiece sure to lift your mood, worn for example to accompany an afternoon dress in a plain colour. It also adds a welcome touch of softness to a somewhat plain (but not sports-styled!) suit. Some lengths of dotted veiling can also be twisted into a bow and attached to a headband for a sweetly frivolous style point. A trimmed veil which comes just over the forehead or part-way over the face is an inexpensive yet chic way of topping off an afternoon or evening costume. Sew silken leaves or petals, tiny velvet bows or lusterless paillettes on simple veiling and attach it to your hair with a hair-comb.
Some tips on choosing a hat:
– Hat and hairstyle are linked and must be considered together. If you have not yet found the hat shape that suits you, try changing your hairstyle first. Loose long hair and hats are usually only compatible on the beach.
– When trying on a hat, make sure to see the effect from a full-length mirror. Sometimes a hat which looks flattering when seen on a small mirror, is discovered to look unbalanced compared to the proportions of the body. For example a wide-brimmed picture hat on a short woman might look disproportionate. This is better to discover at the hat-shop and not at home! Millinery is usually not returnable.
– Felt hats can be refreshed and steamed into shape several times, the best qualities almost indefinitely, so rescuing a crushed hat from the flea-market may very well prove to be worthwhile. Fabric hats are more difficult to cleanse at home, but steaming can be tried. Fine straw hats should be brushed with a piece of velvet, a regular brush may damage the straws. A good straw hat can be gently washed with lukewarm soapy water, and shaped when it is still moist.