It would be a great improvement, if this part of dress were wholly discarded; and when is there so appropriate a time for setting it aside, as before we began to use it; or rather while we are under the more immediate care of our mothers?
The use of jackets buttoned up to the throat, except in cold weather, is objectionable; but this is very fortunately going out of fashion.
Boots, if used at all, should fit well; to this there can be no possible objection. What the writer, whom I have quoted, referred to, was probably the tight boot, worn to prevent the foot from being large and unseemly; but producing, as tight boots inevitably do, an injurious effect upon the muscles, a constrained walk, and corns.
What can be more painful, than to see little boys—yes, little boys—boys neither fifteen, nor twenty, nor twenty-five, walk as if they were fettered and trussed up for the spit; unable to look down, or turn their heads, on account of a thick stock, or two or three cravats piled on the top of each other—and only capable of using their arms to dangle a cane, or carry an umbrella, as they hobble along, perhaps on a hot sun-shiny day in July or August?
But this evil, you who are mothers, have it very generally in your power to prevent, if you are only wise enough to secure that ascendancy over your children’s minds which the Author of their nature designed. At the least, you can prevent it for a time—the most important period, too—by your own authority. This you will not need any urging to induce you to do, if you ever become thoroughly convinced of its pre-eminent folly.
SEC. 11. On the Dress of Girls.
The same general principles which should guide the young mother in regard to the dress of boys, are equally important and applicable in the management of girls. The whole dress should, as much as possible, hang loosely from the shoulders, without pressing on the body, or any part of it. This, I say, is the grand point to be aimed at; and this is the only great principle, whatever some mothers may think, which will lead to true beauty of person, and gracefulness of gesture.
There is, however, a slight difference to be made between the dress of girls and that of boys. The greater delicacy of the female frame requires that the surface of the body should be kept rather warmer, as well as better protected from the vicissitudes of the atmosphere.
But is this the fact? Is not the contrary true? While boys in the winter are clad in warm woollen vestments, covering every part of their trunk, many portions of the female frame, and especially many parts of their limbs, are left so much exposed, that in cold weather you scarcely find a girl abroad, who appears to be comfortable.