Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I’m having a senior prom. The seniors are over sixty to ninety-eight. What should they wear, and what do we eat and drink?
A Dear Carol:
Now this sounds like some fun. There’s no special food required for events such as yours, so it’s probably best to eat and drink whatever your seniors like to eat and drink. Dress, however, is something I can help with. While the men should simply wear suits and ties, the ladies might like to take heed to Ms. Melendy’s advice from Vivilore (1904) regarding proper dress for evening parties.
1904: For Evening Parties
No woman with beautiful neck and arms, can well resist the delights of occasionally wearing evening dress; it is as natural as for flowers to bloom. When the social gatherings are very informal, any pretty, light dress is suitable, and summer afternoon gowns may be made to do service at such times. But for the more formal occasions the dress cut low in the neck and short in the sleeves is desired; and may be worn, with proper precautions, by women in vigorous health. The daily cold sponge bath will do much to prevent one from taking cold; but in winter, the woman who indulges in evening dress must be careful to have extra wraps, and should not go out doors from a warm room while perspiring. Carelessness at these times has caused many a serious illness; and no woman who has not first mastered the tendency to take cold ought to attempt evening dress at all. Robust health is the very first requisite. English women, who are usually vigorous, wear dresses of this cut daily without injury.
Source: Melendy, Dr. Mary Ries. Vivilore: The Pathway to Mental and Physical Perfection. Chicago: W. R. Vansant, 1904.
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