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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 37 pages of information about What Dress Makes of Us.

CHAPTER VI.

HINTS ON DRESS FOR ELDERLY WOMEN.

Dress has much to do with a youthful or aged appearance.  Shawls and long mantles that fall from the shoulders give even youthful figures a look of age, because the lines are long and dignified and without especial grace.  Beautiful wraps, or coats that do not come very far below the hip-line, can be worn becomingly by elderly ladies, neither emphasizing their years nor making them appear too frivolously attired.  There is a smack of truth in the maxim, As a woman grows old the dress material should increase in richness and decrease in brightness.  Handsome brocades, soft, elegant silks, woollen textures, and velvets are eminently suitable and becoming to women who are growing old.

Black, and black-and-white, soft white chiffon veiled in lace, cashmeres, and such refined tissues should be selected by those in “the first wrinkles of youth.”  Grays combined with filmy white material, dull bronzes lightened with cream-tinted lace, are also charmingly appropriate.  Pale blue veiled in chiffon is another grateful combination.

White should be worn more than it is by old ladies.  It is so suggestive of all that is clean, bright, and dainty; and if there is anything an old lady should strive to be in her personal appearance it is dainty.  Exquisite cleanliness is one of the most necessary attributes of attractive old age, and any texture that in its quality and color emphasizes the idea of cleanliness should commend itself to those in their “advanced youth.”

Little old thin women, large ones too, for that matter, who are wrinkled and colorless, should not wear diamonds.  The dazzling white gems with pitiless brilliancy bring out the pasty look of the skin.  The soft glow of pearls, the cloudlike effects of the opal, the unobtrusive lights of the moonstone harmonize with the tints of hair and skin of the aged.

Elderly women should not wear bright flowers on their bonnets or hats.  Fresh-looking roses above a face that has lost its first youthfulness only make that fact more obvious.  Forget-me-nots, mignonettes, certain pretty white flowers, the palest of pink roses, or the most delicate tint of yellow veiled with lace are not inappropriate for those who do not enjoy wearing sombre bonnets and hats which are composed only of rich, black textures.  Lace cleverly intermingled with velvet and jewelled ornaments of dull, rich shades are exceedingly effective on the head-gear of the old.

Those who are gray-haired—­and indeed all women as they grow old—­should wear red above their brows instead of under their chins.  A glint of rich cardinal velvet, or a rosette of the same against gray hair is beautiful.

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