There is one very noticeable feature about the styles of the present day – their infinite variety, various indeed as the moods of a woman. No two women need dress alike. Every woman is a type, and each develops her own personality in dress. Nearly all adhere to the general style-tendencies, but individuality in the matter of apparel seems more marked from month to month.
There has never been such a variety of materials and colors as this year. There is a reversible peau de soie, one side dull and the other satiny, out of which some very successful tailored costumes are made.
The new French moire is as soft as the finest satin, and is used extensively for long cloaks both for day and evening wear. In fact, the most remarkable feature about the materials this year is their extreme suppleness.
A fabric which has the advantage of being as easily washed as lawn, is a kind of silk tissue very closely woven, in cream shade sewn with small bouquets woven in the stuff. This fabric, however, is not as soft as the other silks this season.
As for Shantungs they are to be seen in every variety of flower-designs, and with small scattered bouquets of flowers. Then there is the Japanese silk which is very light, and soft, and slightly transparent, the only thing Japanese about it being its name. It seems to have something of the character of silk voile and of satin. This material is striped on the bias in such colors as sky-blue and black, line-green and black, or again there is a wide band of printed flowers along the bottom of the material.
Among the most successful in the silk damask and brocaded dress-goods for the coming winter, those having a taffeta foundation are quite important. White striped black taffeta chiffon is represented in very large ranges, the foundation being usually sprinkled with small dots and trefoils or stars. Grenadine damasks have the white stripes placed about two inches apart, and the small figures made in a soft satin weave.
Many lines show the combination of damask and brocade weaves. Important among these is a pale-brown taffeta foundation with delicate, corded stripes, placed about an inch apart. Small blue square brocaded figures are repeated at intervals of eight inches between the stripes. Again there is a dark-blue, plain Duchesse foundation with widely scattered pairs of flowers, having gold contours. One of the flowers is in the color of the foundation, while the other is in pale blue. These pairs of flowers are placed diagonally, but far apart.
A dark taffeta foundation with wide marbled stripes contains various diamond and crystal shapes, executed in damask. A navy-and-white striped foundation has brocaded rings having stems, each placed over two stripes appearing in alternate colors. Rosettes composed of brocaded dark and pale-blue half moons appear over a changeable blue-and-gold foundation, while many among the latest lines show damask effects produced by gold and silver threads interwoven with mousseline foundation.
Among the novelty shades of this year are a new Persian blue, something like the Gobelin blue, which has also been selected this season as a novelty shade for trimmings; a leather-brown, a reddish violet, a light taupe, a cherry coral, and chartreuse-green.
Such shades as seal-brown and nut-brown are considered very good for the suitings for fall, with champagne as a third. Eggplant-purple and very dark heliotrope are the purple representations for this fall. A linden-green is shown in novelty dress-goods, while the wild-thyme-green and dark reseda are the greens selected for street suits. Taupe, which is the French for moleskin, and the color of the fur, dark and light, for street- or for reception-wear, is a very good color, and there is a silver-gray which is very good, and a new blue-gray lynx, another fur color.
Every season there are new fashions in colors and color-combinations, just as there are new styles in the cut and make of the garments. One of the most popular combinations of the fall is the navy-blue serge suit with the piping or trimming of chartreuse-green. Blue and green, carefully used in shades that balance each other, make a very effective combination for the new season.
Speaking of green reminds one that a popular idea is the use of bright-green collars on suits of dark blue, of black, of black and white, of gray, of dark green in the same tones, and even on the reddish mixtures. It is sometimes used even when there are trimmings of another shade.
Leather-color is another trimming color that combines with a variety of shades. It is suitable for trimming dark blue, black and white, green and dark browns and wood-shades. The Persian blue, and king’s blue are especially good as trimming for taupe material. The cherry-coral and Roman red very sparingly used, may combine with taupe or dark mixture.
In a general way the colors and color combination for women’s tailored suits for fall and winter are mannish. The tendency in suitings is toward darker colors, and mixtures of the sort that have been used for men’s tailored suits. The trimming colors, like the styles in trimming, are kept within strict mannish limits. There is, at the most, only a touch at the collars and cuffs or the vest, corresponding to the touch of color in a man’s necktie. The vest may add a touch of color to match collar and cuffs, for it may be of white or leather color, or it may be flowered velvet and brocade in many colors.
Gray is to be one of the most prominent colors for the coming winter, and its more or less extensive use is shown in many of the smartest models so far shown. Sometimes it appears only a trimming or as an underlining of the garment, but it is seen everywhere. The selection of gray is regarded by dressmakers as a very happy choice, as it blends to perfection with the staple colors, like black, dark navy, white and brown and – a prime consideration for the winter – it accords with every kind of fur. Among the many shades of gray, the brilliant shade will be used chiefly for trimming, in binding or in some other similar capacity, while a dull-toned gray is used on dress-goods and silks for street costumes as well as for elaborate toilets.
Gray has been adopted by the millinery trade for winter hats, either for the shape itself or the trimming, or for both. Other toilet accessories, like belts, bags and shoes and hosiery are also featured in gray leather, silk or other fabric.
With the short and narrow skirts still in vogue, the importance of smart footwear is increasing with the demand for a perfect match or harmony in every detail of the toilet. The high-heeled, low-vamp French shoes of gray leather, velvet or satin seem to fill this want admirably.
Low shoe will be worn during the winter more than ever to satisfy the eye, and openwork or plain silk hosiery of the flimsiest texture will accompany them. However this cobweblike silk hosiery is for nothing else but ornament, as another pair of flesh-colored silk hosiery of substantial thickness will be worn underneath.
Much variety is displayed in the long coats for winter. Among the many models seen in a recent fashion display was a coat of gray striped zibeline, piped, trimmed and lined with leaf-green. The garment was cut to contrast the striped material by making the upper part of the coat the lengthwise of the goods, and the lower part, as I to cross the skirt in a suit-effect, the crosswise of the material. Velvet piped the long cutaway of the upper part, the broad revers and scallops of the cuffs and collar, which buttoned back of the shoulder-linen on each side over a group of plaits which extended to the waistline.
An aviation coat of heavy striped polo cloth had the buckles and buttons covered with chamois, the color of the coat. A gray diagonal corduroy cloth was piped with black satin, and has a cape-collar of gray velvet to match. The yoke back with long back panel turned up and buttoned over about eight inches above the hem.
A dark-blue ratine striped black, had collar and cuffs of the coat of the reverse or striped side of the double-faced ratine, black and white. A coat of red-and-black velours, changeant striped, had deep scalloped collar and broad revers and cuffs of white ratine, edged with black braid, and enormous red-rimmed buttons with cloisonné centers in flower designs.
There is a wide choice of materials for tailored suits. Serges are in the lead, and there is a strong tendency for the corded, ribbed and twill goods, such as Bedford cord, whipcord, diagonals, plain illuminated and two-toned. Corduroys and velvet are other good considerations. Striped goods are favorites, and mixtures that have the new illuminated and rough-surface effects.
The trimmings are those already referred to, such as the large use of twist stitching, heavy twist in contrasting colors, and embroidered points of the silk, also of chenille; pipings of velvet, satin or cord, or cloth, tailored braid for edging and binding; novelty velvets and brocades for vests, collars and cuffs, broadcloth in all fashionable shades, such as the tans and chartreuse-green; suede cloth that looks like leather; and a large use of artificial fur or fur cloth is indicated. Buttons in bold, simple styles, large-sized and medium, in celluloid, ivory, crystal and crochet continue to be important trimming-features. Crustal buttons are very strong; also buckles are used and mannish belts.
Bright-color contrasts provided by means of sash or girdle, are noted on many of the new dresses. And, for example, a beautiful white charmeuse draped with a short tunic of needle-run lace has the corsage also draped with the lace forming a fichu, and then tucked away beneath a wide belt of emerald-green satin. The two ends of the belt are gathered slightly at the back, and are carried almost to the hem of the skirt, though they are looped up in the modish manner at about the line of the knees.
It must be noted in passing that a subtle shade of gray tints the white lace; and this shade, though so subtle, is important; for it gives a softness to the effect of the draperies that otherwise might be hard.
There are some very charming models designed in black or dark-blue charmeuse or taffeta. A black charmeuse is designed with a quaint bodice embroidered at the edges with ruby red silk. Inch-wide braids of the same silk fall from the shoulders in front to below the waist, where a narrow band of black varnished leather holds in the folds of the corsage.
At the back there is a shawl-collar of the charmeuse, worked in the ruby silk; and the basque which is short in front, is longer at the back, and is cut in one with the corsage only two or three rows of gauging marking the waist.
A tunic of black crepe chiffon falls in straight folds below the basque, and the under dress is also perfectly straight and narrow. The corsage is charmingly finished with a vest of finely tucked net, decorated by a single frill, and fastened with berry buttons in ruby red. A dress of this type is equally attractive if designed entirely in black. It may or may not be granted the relief of a white chemisette, or the pretty contrast of a touch of green, in the berry buttons, which, by the way, should be of crystal so that they may reflect the light.
Many black-satin dresses are seen, and there is a wide scope for ingenuity to obtain a distinctive touch. The neck can be finished with hemstitched lawn or with tulle, while a belt of red or king’s blue is very chic worn with these toilettes.
These belts are no longer tied at the side, but in a new style which consists of one long, wide end, which is fringed, passing around to the back, where from the center it falls low on the skirt.
A black taffeta dress with the skirt buttoned in front, had a draped corsage of white tulle, with a narrow border of zibeline. A new idea in the present rage for embroidery was seen in a skirt of blue plaited voile, which had a deep band of ruby embroidery around the hips; the same embroidery appeared around the end of the short sleeves.
In the draped-effect a novelty is the holding in place of the drapery my means of a cord with tassels. This was seen in a costume of blue cloth; the jacket in satin of the same color was fastened in the center-front with one button, and was trimmed with silver-gauze epaulets.
A jabot was used to finish the front of the coat, which is not cutaway, a black-velvet butterfly fastening the lace at the neck.
The style of veiling the hat in tulle to match some detail of the toilet is popular. A black robe with fuchsia piping was accompanied by a black hat with fuchsia tulle.
Among several models in blue charmeuse recently noted, was one, the skirt of which was narrowly plaited from the normal waistline to the bottom. The waist was also made of the plaited charmeuse, and had a white-satin panel, about three inches wide, extending from the rounded neck to the bottom of the skirt. This panel was buttonholed crosswise and was trimmed with white pearl buttons. The neck had a colored embroidered collar, finished with a small lace jabot, Robespierre fashion, at the front. The sleeves were long, and were finished at the bottom with lace frills.
A foulard panier gown was in old-blue, with an allover design in white lilies. The waist was made with a round neck and V yoke of the net; the waist was plain in back, and slightly draped in front, with three-quarter-length sleeves, showing a band of plain blue satin, corresponding with the color of the ground of the foulard, around the bottom, below which short undersleeves of the net were seen.
At the slightly raised waistline here was a crushed girdle of the plain blue satin, finished with a crushed girdle of the plain blue satin, finished with a corded ornament of the same at one side-front. The skirt was made with a panier drapery, reaching just below the hips, showing more fullness at the back than at the sides, and at the left side-front from the panier to the hem, was a narrow inset of the plain blue silk. The foundation skirt of the foulard was caught together over this in two places, and decorated with blue-silk tassels.
Many delightful waist-models are being displayed. A pretty example of transparency was a blouse of plain white muslin in little sets of pin tucks, with a plain space between, and a turnover collar and cuffs made up of ruffled rows of Valenciennes. Under this were revealed bretelles of rose-pink satin and a double band of the same ribbon going around the bust, and finishing at the side in a large, flat plaque of pink satin and Valenciennes lace, with a ring of tiny pink roses in the heart of it.
Ecru lace composed another bewitching bodice, a dainty thing with a basque. The blouse itself was made of ecru net with a pretty floral pattern of applique, and it was bordered all around by a scalloped insertion lace to match, the scallop only serving to edge the bolero from the waist. This was high and in Empire style, and underneath the basque came a folded belt – encircling the ordinary waistline – of blue satin.
The note of sky-color was repeated in a flat vest of blue satin, cut out in heart-shape, with a neckless yoke of plain net. Then came a pretty detail, the neck, vest and Empire beltline being indicated by a fine silk cord, in which violet and blue were charmingly intertwined, while the buttons down the front, which were of pale-blue satin, were crossed with the velvet cord.
A waist of white net has kimono sleeves. The shoulders and sleeves are tucked, and down the center is a broad band of antique insertion, finished each side with a narrow band, which extends across the shoulders. The front band extends beyond the waistline, and is trimmed with fringe. On the sides is a short peplum of lace; and the normal waistline on the sides is defined with a narrow folded belt of lavender silk, while the round neck is piped with lavender silk.
Furs this winter will assume the soft and supple styles. The popular enveloping lines in gowns have inspired furriers to make a wonderful triumph in furs, so that a chic woman can envelop herself in a fur warp that appears almost as soft as supple satin or mousseline.
Moleskin or taupe, is said to be the popular mode for long mantle coats, which are made of whole skins, and have the furs arranged in novel designs, and fashioned to drape the figure in a mantle of no weight but great warmth.
Black caracul and baby lamb, made in the softest of furs, and draped in long mantle-coats are among the new models for the winter. These soft caracul coats have wide shawl-collars of fox or ermine, and are lined with soft brocade satin.
Ermine will be worn again, as well as sable and fox. Short coats are coming into vogue again, but in fancy effects. Russian blouses and Spanish jackets will be sued to some extent.
Long coats are made 52 and 56 inches in length, and are box and semifitting, with straight liens and side effects. Many of the models are being trimmed with reversed and combination furs, and crochet buttons with single frogs are sued for fastening.
There is nothing especially new about the muff, except that passementeries and fringes are sued to trim them quite extensively – that is, in the short-hair skins, the long-haired furs are made into muffs, using the whole animal.
Very handsome fur boas three to four yards long are lined with soft silk in high color. A fur is being used which when dyed, closely resembles the Fitch; and the raccoon, when dyed, cannot be told from elk, and is very popular. Coony when electrified, takes the place of beaver or nutar. American weasel is used extensively for trimming, substituted in many instances for ermine. There is also a great demand for Persian lamb, and pony will be used to a large extent.
Tan shoes are quite the smartest thing this season – they are leather-color, and not the red brown, which was fashionable last year. With these shoes, stockings of all colors are worn, even green, blue and violet.
A novelty in neckwear is the Dauphin collar. This is generally made in fine lawn, and is flat with broad embroidered revers, and is edged with lace. It is worn without a high collar.
As a result of the present fancy for low-cut gowns, the ordinary one-sided jabot effect is not cultivated as it was, and two new forms of ruffle have made their appearance very daintily.
The first is meant for wearing with a gown that is collarless and fairly low, but not open in front. It is of delicate Paris tinted lace, plaited, as a rule, in three fans of graduated length, and sometimes, instead of lace, the fall is of finely embroidered lawn. There is no neckband visible, but a plain band of lawn goes around the neck under the yoke of the dress, and fixes the fall in place.
The second of these novelties shows a sailor-collar of black satin, with softly draped revers of fine creamy ecru net, and lace, which leaves the throat open in that long V which is so attractive.
There is another new jabot which traverses the length of the corsage, and descends to the skirt, the result being both novel and attractive. A model was displayed made in the following manner: the skirt and vest of taffeta, the skirt high-waisted, the tulle blouse closing in front, with a soft jabot, which falls over the bust, and extends along the side of the skirt to the height of the knee, thus following the line of the fastening.
Soutache or silk-cord trimming is to be used in profusion during the present season on afternoon and evening gowns. We shall see it allied not only to cloth and velvet, but to satin and chiffon as well.It is generally noticed that where buttons play an important part, soutache closely follows, and such will be the case this season. On evening gowns this trimming will take the form of flowers as well as scroll designs, and the Grecian-key pattern will adorn even the lightest and flimsiest of materials worked with this silk cording.
Gold-color on white is a favorite combination for evening wear, but self-colored soutache will be more used than contrasting shades. It will also be in evidence on lace and silk blouses, in motifs, buttonholes, loops, etc.; in fact, it is safe to say that as a general trimming it will be in the first ranks of popularity.
Enameled “pomanders” are quite the rage among the toilet-accessories, and these tiny balls may be seen dangling from milady’s neck-chain or bracelet.
The top unscrews, disclosing a minute sponge on which to drop your favorite perfume. This perfume gives off an agreeably faint odor through the little holes pierced in the trinket. The pomanders are enameled on sterling silver, in pale blue, Nile green, lavender, and other pretty colors.
There are signs on the horizon that jet will be extremely popular during the ensuing months. Large jet brooches are seen alighting on chemisettes of filmy materials, and the long chains of jet beads are making a bid for popular favor. Then there is nothing that enhances the whiteness of the neck more than a collar of flat jet beads with a medallion in the center, of imitation jewels.
An interesting point about the new corsets, is the fact that we are returning to the curved side pieces instead of the straight, and the latest models are all showing this feature. The straight side corset is losing its prestige with the corsetiere, so that the line of the hips will be more accentuated in future.