Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.

The morning dress for gentlemen is a black frock-coat, or a black cut-away, white or black vest, according to the season, gray or colored pants, plaid or stripes, according to the fashion, a high silk (stove-pipe) hat, and a black scarf or necktie.  A black frock coat with black pants is not considered a good combination, nor is a dress coat and colored or light pants.  The morning dress is suitable for garden parties, Sundays, social teas, informal calls, morning calls and receptions.

It will be seen that morning and evening dress for gentlemen varies as much as it does for ladies.  It is decidedly out of place for a gentleman to wear a dress coat and white tie in the day-time, and when evening dress is desired on ceremonious occasions, the shutters should be closed and the gas or lamps lighted.  The true evening costume or full dress suit, accepted as such throughout the world, has firmly established itself in this country; yet there is still a considerable amount of ignorance displayed as to the occasions when it should be worn, and it is not uncommon for the average American, even high officials and dignified people, to wear the full evening costume at a morning reception or some midday ceremony.  A dress coat at a morning or afternoon reception or luncheon, is entirely out of place, while the frock-coat or cut-away and gray pants, make a becoming costume for such an occasion.


It is not considered in good taste for men to wear much jewelry.  They may with propriety wear one gold ring, studs and cuff-buttons, and a watch chain, not too massive, with a modest pendant, or none at all.  Anything more looks like a superabundance of ornament.


Evening dress for ladies may be as rich, elegant and gay as one chooses to make it.  It is everywhere the custom to wear full evening dress in brilliant evening assemblages.  It may be cut either high or low at the neck, yet no lady should wear her dress so low as to make it quite noticeable or a special subject of remark.  Evening dress is what is commonly known as “full dress,” and will serve for a large evening party, ball or dinner.  No directions will be laid down with reference to it, as fashion devises how it is to be made and what material used.


Ball dressing requires less art than the nice gradations of costume in the dinner dress, and the dress for evening parties.  For a ball, everything should be light and diaphanous, somewhat fanciful and airy.  The heavy, richly trimmed silk is only appropriate to those who do not dance.  The richest velvets, the brightest and most delicate tints in silk, the most expensive laces, elaborate coiffures, a large display of diamonds, artificial flowers for the head-dress and natural flowers for hand bouquets, all belong, more or less, to the costume for a large ball.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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