Lace! Lace! Lace! and still more Lace for the old. Lace is an essential to the dress of a woman more than forty years of age. Jabots, ruches, yokes, cascades, vests, and gowns of lace, black or white, are all for the old. Rich lace has an exquisitely softening effect on the complexion. Thin women with necks that look like the strings of a violin should swathe, smother, decorate, and adorn their throats with lace or gossamer fabrics that have the same quality as lace. These airy textures, in which light and shadow can so beautifully shift, subdue roughnesses of the skin and harshness in lines. Old Dame Nature is the prime teacher of these bewitching artifices. Note her fine effects with mists and cobwebs, with lace-like moss on sturdy old oaks, the bloom on the peach and the grape. Nature produces her most enchanting colorings with dust and age. Laces, gauzes, mulls, chiffons, net, and gossamer throw the same beautiful glamour over the face and they are fit and charming accompaniments of gray hair, which is a wonderful softener of defective complexions and hard facial lines.
Too much cannot be written upon the proper arrangement in the neck-gear of the aged. The disfiguring wrinkles that make many necks unsightly may be kept in obeyance by massaging. No matter what the fashion in neck-gear, the aged must modify it to suit their needs. An old lady with a thin, pipe-stem neck should adopt a full ruche and fluffy, soft collar-bands. I cannot forbear repeating that tulle as light as thistle bubbles, either white or gray or black, is exquisitely effective for thin, scrawny necks. The fleshy, red neck should be softened with powder and discreetly veiled in chemisettes of chiffon and delicate net.
Old ladies may keep in the style, thus being in the picture of the hour; but it is one of the divine privileges of age that it can make its own modes. Absolute cleanliness, cleanliness as exacting as that proper nurses prescribe for babies, is the first and most important factor in making old age attractive. Rich dress, in artistic colors, soft, misty, esthetic, comes next; then the idealizing scarfs, collars, jabots, and fichus of lace and tulles. Old people becomingly and artistically attired have the charm of rare old pictures. If they have soul-illumined faces they are precious masterpieces.
HOW MEN CARICATURE THEMSELVES WITH THEIR CLOTHES.
Although in the dress of man there are fewer possibilities of caricature than in that of woman, yet, “the masterpieces of creation” frequently exaggerate in a laughable—and sometimes a pitiable—way, certain physical characteristics by an injudicious choice of clothes.
As the fashion in hair-dressing does not grant man the privilege of enhancing his facial attractions; nor of obscuring his defects by a becomingly arranged coiffure; and, as the modes in neck-gear are such that he cannot modify the blemishes of a defective complexion by encircling his athletic or scrawny throat with airy tulle, or dainty lace, that arch-idealizer of pasty-looking faces; and as he has forsworn soft, trailing garments that conceal unclassic curves and uninspiring lines of nether limbs, it behooves him to be more exactingly particular even than woman in the selection of his wearing apparel.