Q Dear Miss Abigail:
When is the last possible date that wearing velvet is acceptable?
Desperate for an answer
A Dear Desperate:
This question just came in, and since it was marked “desperate,” as well as being a timely subject matter (thank goodness Spring is here!) I decided to answer it right away.
Though I don’t have a specific velvet cut-off date for you, here are some basic guidelines about seasonal clothing from one of my newly acquired books.
1969: Seasonal Items
You may be wondering how it is possible to wear some of the basic wardrobe items in the middle of the summer when the weather is so hot it would seem foolish to put on a velvet hat, for instance. The answer to this dilemma is to have a few strictly summer clothes. Just keep in mind that the less money you spend on these, the more you will have to spend on the other three seasons of the year.
Following is a list of seasonal items. Read them through. It may be that the ideas given do not apply in your area but, the advice is offered with a broad intent to make you appropriately dressed almost anywhere in the world.
Fabrics for Summertime Only
Linen and cotton are considered summertime fabrics. They might be designed to be worn for either daytime or evening in bright, festive, vacation colors. They will look dress-down with basic dress-down or summer dress-down accessories. They will look dress-up with fabric accessories dyed to match. Exception: Some cottons are dyed dark to be worn during the early fall season. Others are so colorful that they may be used to advantage around the Christmas Holiday season to add a gay note.
Into this category will fall patent leather shoes and all other patent leather accessories. There are to be worn any time between Easter and Labor Day. This is one leather that cannot be mixed with any other. If one accessory is patent leather all other leather accessories should be patent.
Patent leather is dress-down and because it is shiny, it is to be worn with dull cottons. Straw hats and other straw accessories are to be worn only during the summer months. They are for daytime wear.
In some vacation resort areas it is proper to go without hosiery ~ a suntan taking their place. Bare foot sandals in metallic leathers are used for evening wear.
Shell or seed jewelry is used for both daytime and evening in colors to match or contrast.
A beautiful chiffon scarf may be all the wrap necessary to cover bare shoulders.
This is the time for bright colors, light-weight flowing fabrics ~ and romance.
Chiffon hats that are light as a breeze are more dress-up. However, they may be worn in the daytime as well as in the evening for party time occasions.
Fabrics for Wintertime Only
Some fabrics are so heavy that they would be worn only during the coldest months. Such a fabric is wool felt. Again, unless you have an unlimited clothing budget, it is wiser to collect clothes that can be worn throughout the various seasons.
Exception:A fine fur stole may be worn all year round. Never in man’s history has fashion been sacrificed for comfort. If you want to wear a lovely fur even thought the weather is too warm, go ahead.
Usually those accessories that are dress-up may be worn all year round.
Source: Tolman, Ruth. Charm and Poise for Getting Ahead. Bronx, NY: Milady Publishing Corporation, 1969.
~ pp. 157-58 ~