“The mourning for children under twelve years of age is white in summer and gray in winter, with black trimmings, belt, sleeve ruffles and bonnet ribbons.”
Harmony of Colors in Dress.
The selection and proper arrangement of colors, so that they will produce the most pleasant harmony, is one of the most desirable requisites in dress. Sir Joshua Reynolds says: “Color is the last attainment of excellence in every school of painting.” The same may also be said in regard to the art of using colors in dress. Nevertheless, it is the first thing to which we should give our attention and study.
We put bright colors upon our little children; we dress our young girls in light and delicate shades; the blooming matron is justified in adopting the warm, rich hues which we see in the autumn leaf, while black and neutral tints are declared appropriate to the old.
One color should predominate in the dress; and if another is adopted, it should be in a limited quantity and only by way of contrast or harmony. Some colors may never, under any circumstances, be worn together, because they produce positive discord to the eye. If the dress be blue, red should never be introduced by way of trimming, or vice versa. Red and blue, red and yellow, blue and yellow, and scarlet and crimson may never be united in the same costume. If the dress be red, green maybe introduced in a minute quantity; if blue, orange; if green, crimson. Scarlet and solferino are deadly enemies, each killing the other whenever they meet.
Two contrasting colors, such as red and green, may not be used in equal quantities in the dress, as they are both so positive in tone that they divide and distract the attention. When two colors are worn in any quantity, one must approach a neutral tint, such as gray or drab. Black may be worn with any color, though it looks best with the lighter shades of the different colors. White may also be worn with any color, though it looks best with the darker tones. Thus white and crimson, black and pink, each contrast better and have a richer effect than though the black were united with the crimson and the white with the pink. Drab, being a shade of no color between black and white, may be worn with equal effect with all.
A person of very fair, delicate complexion, should always wear the most delicate of tints, such as light blue, mauve and pea-green. A brunette requires bright colors, such as scarlet and orange, to bring out the brilliant tints in her complexion. A florid face and auburn hair call for blue.
Black hair has its color and depth enhanced by scarlet, orange or white, and will bear diamonds, pearls or lustreless gold.
Dark brown hair will bear light blue, or dark blue in a lesser quantity.
If the hair has no richness of coloring, a pale yellowish green will by reflection produce the lacking warm tint.