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Friday, 4 October 2013

A guide to gracious living, Amy Vanderbilt, PART 2.

Hello there.

If you haven't seen this, HERE is part 1 of the Guide to gracious living.


For summer wear, a loose-fitting white or natural camel's hair coat is a basic that will have years of use if it is bought in a classic style. A black evening wrap is a sound conservative choice, but it is surprising how well one in flame red will go with almost anything a blonde or brunette is likely to wear in the evening if she doesn't go out too much, and especially if she has a dressy fur coat for a change-over.

If only one fur coat or jacket is possible on your budget, let it be a dress coat preferably three-quarter- or full-length, with a shawl or roll collar. Avoid the high-fashion models. Mink in good quality is a long-term invest- ment, and caracul, Persian lamb, the new muskrats in mink tones, seal, sheared beaver, and skunk (for a jacket) are among the hardier furs that should have a life of at least five years. When you consider that a good cloth coat is expensive and more likely to show wear or go out of fashion in less time than this, a fur coat is often a better buy. You consider its cost as amortized over five years.

If you live in a cold climate and in the country, a tough fur sport coat is often a better long-term investment than even the heaviest cloth coat suit- able for bad weather the upkeep is small and it looks warm. Among the best for the purpose are mouton (processed lamb), lambskin, the new sheared raccoon, leopard, or leopard cat (suitable for town, too). Almost a uniform for both men and women in smart country places is the trim, wind- proof, lambskin- or pile-lined belted coat of gabardine in basic tones. A well-tailored fabric raincoat makes a good extra topcoat between seasons.

If your budget is limited, beware the spring coat. It is often too high- styled and relatively too expensive for the use you will get from it. If your climate calls for some slight protection in early spring, a fur piece or little cape or jacket will have a much longer life and be usable day and evening. A classic camel's hair or a good simple, tailored coat and a dual-duty rain- coat will be of use spring, summer, and fall for many seasons.


Hats If you are a country dweller your need for hats is usually limited. Instead, you need scarves, colorful bandannas, berets, a hunting cap for your belted sport coat, a duck snap brim, if you're the type, and a good dress hat or two each season that will carry you smartly into town on your occasional sorties into the more sophisticated world of clothes. In winter a becoming fur hat, well-made and expensive, to go with your dress coat to match it or its scarf, collar or muff, or to contrast say, a mink hat and muff with a black Persian lamb or broadtail can have a long and fashionable life. The original investment is high, but you are sure of getting a hat that can take hard winter weather, stay on your head in a high wind, keep you warm, and be becoming for as many seasons as you will wear your coat. Its style can be varied from time to time by an adroit milliner, but, here, if there ever was one, is a basic hat.

In the summer your basic town, dress hat will probably be a well-designed, simple black, navy, or white straw or one in toast or natural tones, depending on yourgoing-to-town wardrobe. The body should be the best you can buy, so that it is worth while to have the trimming changed from season to season. I have such a hat, whose original cost was forty dollars but which I have worn three summer seasons with three changes of trimming. Each season I have been complimented on my wonderful new hat. Considering the little I wear a hat in the summertime, it would be wasteful extravagance to have even one new, startling hat each summer (and I like them to be striking), so the remodeling of my basic summer hat is the answer and satisfies my desire for silliness in headgear at low cost. This would never work with a hat cheap to begin with and it's better fashion policy to spend relatively more for a hat than for the dress with which it's worn.

A simple, round soft felt hat (or perhaps a good crocheted wool one) that goes with tweeds is another basic that fills in the seasons. Such a hat should match or complement the topcoat with which it is to be worn rather than the suit. If you have several tweed suits in varying colors, all to be worn with a camel's hair or other neutral topcoat, you can have removable hat- bands or scarves that will pick up the color of the suit or accessories so that the same hat will serve several changes of wardrobe.

Next time, we will read together all about suits.

♥♥ Pinky Honey

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