A MODERN TEA-GOWN.
These spaces are filled in with most charming little Louis Seize ornamental patterns stamped on in perfectly arranged colors; fluttering ribbons tied about tambourines, with floral garlands, etc. The effect is enchanting and novel in the extreme, for which fashionable women should be wonderfully thankful, since the never-silenced cry is invariably for something new. The new muslin is to be made up over glace silk, and if one desires to continue the imitation of last century fashion to its smallest detail, thin gros grain ribbon stamped with designs similar to those on the muslin will be used in trimming.
Tulle and chiffon sewed thick with small pearls is another arrangement designed particularly for debutantes. Older and stouter women may well envy the young girls, for perhaps some partiality in the planning of these new stuffs has been shown by the designers. Only a youthful skin and girlish tenderness of color in eyes, hair, cheeks, and lips, with girlish slenderness of figure, can afford to assume the Trianon muslin and pearled chiffon.
EVENING wraps for wear at the opera balls are, by the smartest women, preferred unlined with fur, as has long been the fashion. A new evening wrap after the following description will give an excellent idea of those Parisian modistes have lately designed.
This cloak was cut on the ordinary circular pattern, and, with only a shaping and fitting at the shoulder, fell straight and long from throat to heel. Canary-colored French cloth, satin finished, was the material, lined inside with paler yellow surah. The soft stuff was gathered about the neck, and from the throat fell a fulled cape of black lace that reached half-way to the waist at back and front. This cape was brocaded close to the cloth by means of a delicate jetting that outlined all the woven designs of the lace. The jetwork then extended from the lace on down the skirt of the cloak to the very foot. It ran in fine skeleton designs and resembled nothing so nearly as frost-work in black. A full ruche of lightly jetted coque feathers stood up about the throat, extended down the fronts, and finished off the cloak’s bottom. Handsome jet ornaments clasped the wrap under the chin.
A second opera cloak was of a thick but light-weight wool goods, tinged a clear cafe ‘au /ait and made on the same pattern as the one above described. Cafe au /ait
1. Hereafter all correspondent* should be addressed to ” Editor, Correspondence Department. The ILLUSTRATED American, Bible House, Astor Place, New York.”
2. Questions sent by our readers will be answered in the order in which they are received. Owing to the large number of letters which reach us ashing advice, and to the fact that answers to many of the questions involve considerable research, replies can rarely be given in the same week the letter is received Our readers should not enclose stamped envelopes, with requests for private correspondence, as questions can be answered only in these columns.
3. Every letter must be accompanied by an inquiry coupon, which will be found on the third page of cover.
Indian.—I am sorry to say I did not like a single one of the poems. They sound strained and unnatural in the reading, and are painfully often faulty in construction. You had best buy a good book on versification and keep Hood’s ” Rhymester ” on your desk for reference. I don’t say. cease attempting to compose. Often one’s early efforts seem futile and discouraging. I only advise a close study of poetry and strict attention to the laws of verse making.
Atlanta.— Indeed, I do envy you. and trust that the novel experience will prove an entirely delightful one. For the outfit you will need, first of all, warm underclothing, for in Virginia in December the weather is anything but mild, particularly in the huntingfield. I advise you to use high-necked, long-sleeved shirts, with the new undertights now so commonly worn by women. If these are of wool they will not only keep you perfectly warm but are vastly more comfortable than the ordinary undergarments, which, in the hunting costume, would, I fear, sadly hamper your pleasure. Your toilet should be composed on the following lines: First, encase yourself from knees to throat in the aforementioned tights and shirt. Over the shirt slip on a loose one of dark flannel, heavy and rough of material, and made on the pattern of those worn by men ; that is, with turn-over collar, half-bloused body, buttoned up in front, with no attempt at shaping to the figure. If possible, have ihe flannel shirt gathered at the waist into a broad, short belt, on to which you can button the short skirt of your hunting-suit. The hunting-skirt, that must fall just over the tops of your knees or may be as far down” as midway between ankle and knee, should be of heavy tweed, serge, or cheviot. Tweed is best, of course ; corduroy is far too heavy. Hem the skirt not very deeply, kill or box-plait it, and let it button on to the shirt-band, that all its weight may fall on your shoulders and not on your waist. A Norfolk jacket of goods like the skirt should be worn over your shirt. Cut this jacket rather short about the hips. Heavy gray yarn stockings are decidedly the best for the hard wear you will give them. I.aced boots, thick and broad-soled wilh low heels, are decidedly the most comfortable, and over them draw a pair of brown canvas leggings that will reach from your instep far up over your knees. Four-button English walking-gloves you can use when not in the field, where gloves you will find an elegant nuisance. No, most assuredly not. I quite agree with you that women can hunt with the utmost propriety, and by the wearing of a modest, becoming, but sensible hunting-dress, and going into the field with men, they need not in the least shock their own or any one else’s delicate sensibilities. The opinions of your cousin you may quietly set aside as stupid and old-fashioned theories not worth a moment’s consideration.
Narka.—I am distressed to think you never received the package, that I remailed to you the day after its arrival in New York. It was not registered. That was not carelessness on my part, for I had just a bit before sent out a number of small parcels that all reached their proper destinations in good time, and I considered that registration would be but a useless expense. In the past few months there have, however, been perpetrated such bold postal robberies that I should have been more thoughtful. I beg you to forgive me for the mistake, and I here take the opportunity to ask all correspondents who may notice this, to remember and enclose a few extra stamps for registration on any parcels they may send. I know you will be disappointed to learn that corsets cannot be made from measurements. Not long ago
1 had occasion to search for a corset maker who would undertake to make a pair for a friend out of town. Not a single good maker could or would oblige me ; they all insisted that corsets made from proportions of a figure they did not know and from which they had not taken their own measurements would never fit. No amount of coaxing would overcome their objections, so I had to content myself with purchasing an expensive pair of ready-made stays that answered quite as well. Now you can. if you ever go to New Orleans, find there a good corset-maker who will make you as good a pair as can be manufactured, and at far less than the New York makers charge. Better than that, you can send the same amount of money required to pay for an ordered pair, and buy a charming pair of ready-made ones. If you will, write to Altman’s, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Eighteenth Street, or to Lord & Taylor, at Broadway and Twentieth Street, New Yotk, and enclose ten or eleven dollars and an order for a pair of ” La Classique ” corsets. Give your number, of course, and they will express to you a corset that combines all the highest virtues. The corset-makers here will not touch a commission for less than twelve or fourteen dollars, and I doubt if they can do better by you than the readymade ones I advise. I advise the gown made with a simple straight skirt, plain in front, and plaited in close at back. Around the bottom of the skirt run three narrow, close-set ruffles of the dull silk, which should not only run about the front breadths but extend across the back also. Make the basque close-fiit’ng and long-waisted, with a deep-pointed zone girdle of the silk, to hook up under the arms. Pun the sleeves high on the shoulder, with very deep cuffs of silk to turn back at the wrists, and a high silk collar finishing the threat. It is just now the fashion to affect house-gowns extremely simple in make, and as you are slender, the zone waist will suit you well. Don’t use crepe on the gown ; silk is far more appropriate as a touch of mourning on frocks worn at home. Let me add a hint on my own account. Make the skirt long in the back, for though I count it vulgar to see handsome goods dragged uselessly over the dusty streets as is so common a habit with women this season, yet for the house nothing so adds a touch of grace as an extra length at the back of a skirt. In NewYork, a number of women who have pretty throats wear in the morning, at home, turn-over collars of stiff white linen. In place of a scarf they knot a ribbon bow under the chin, and so lend a crisp brightness to even the soberest costume. The plain linen is, perhaps, in better form than more frou-frou neck-wear of embroidered ruffles. It seems to me you might, if you like, wear these pretty collars with the house-gown just under discussion.
THAYER.—On inquiry, I learn that the professor is a quite reliable and most respectable person. Many I know who have studied his system are loud in its praise; others denounce it as of no avail. I trust it may be of benefit to you, though, for my part. I think it quite within one’s own power to strengthen a weak memory, and have little faith in the efficacy of these prepared systems.
Tumbler Pigeon.—If you will write to Miss Hawkins, who is Secretary of the Ladies’ Berkeley Athletic Club, on West Fortyfourth Street, New York City, she will send you printed pamphlets giving all rules and regulations governing the club. Yes, I think it quite the best institution of the kind in New York.
YsOBSL.—Yours is a very sensible and proper ambition. I see no reason why you should not follow your inclinations, and thereby find quite a sufficiency of pleasant work to fill up all those empty hours. The Church of the Incarnation, on Madison Avenue, corner of Thirty-fifth Street. New York, does, I know, gladly welcome into its corps of clever, energetic parish workers any one who is willing to lend a practical helping hand. It has charge of many prominent missions, and its creche, on the east side of the town, might, 1 think, afford you just the opportunity desired. Dr. Arthur Brooks is rector, and a letter to him would receive prompt attention. A little out of your neighborhood is Calvary Church, on Fourth Avenue, corner of Twenty-first Street. It is another church closely associated with the extensive city mission work, and there you might find just the interest and occupation you need. No, in neither of these churches is there the slightest ritualistic tendency.
Yram.—Well, I have read and reread the letter you enclosed me with closest attention, and, unless I am very blind or dullwitted, I see no hint at what you suspect. It reads to me very like the ordinary letter a nice young man might write to any nice young girl correspondent. It is very evident that he does you the compliment of using his very best scented note-paper, a new pen, his choicest language, and the latest bits of interesting new* that have fallen in his way. Moreover, all this points to the flattering fact that he is earnestly desirous of pleasing and amusing you, and though you may previously have had revelations of a sentimenlal nature made you and your tender suspicions may rest on grounds of which I am ignorant, this letter surely does not presage any early return of the softer emotions. If all his letters are couched in the same terms of friendly affection, then you may rest quite easy. He evidently does not meditate any early confession of love. By all means, answer his neat missives, and if he has done nothing more than send you half a dozen such nice letters he has been guilty of no great crime, and you would be very wrong indeed to refuse to answer them. After all, do you know, it seems to me that your mother should be the one to clear up these lingering doubts in your mind? In future you had best lay these matters before her and ask her advice, as a third person and a stranger is S’ arcely fitted for such a duty.
X. O. Dus.—It is just as you please- You may address the envelope ”To Mr. J. Brown,” or write on it, “For Mrs. J. Brown.” It all depends on your own inclinations and convenience whether you will write ” City,” or the name of your native town or its initials, at the bottom of your envelope. “City ” is a rather more popular method. No, ” Town ” is very bad form indeed, an absurd straining after originality, that means nothing.
Shumway.—You’ve made a mistake in using so much of the shoe-polish, for the more frequently you apply it the more apt is the leather to show a need for it. Suppose, on the new shoes, you don’t use any of the prepared polish, but in a little jar mix together equal quantities of vaseline and good black ink. The result of the mixture should be a semi-liquid, coal-black paste. Apply this with a bit of sponge once a week, and I think you will find your shoes are kept in better condition than ever before. Yes, 1 understand your trouble with the De Guiche varnish ; it is excellent, but so very inconveniently put up. I always empty a new bottle of the varnish into a small glass jar with a screw-top, and apply the cream with a fine camel’s-hair brush. Immediately I have finished painting the patent leather vamps and tips of my boots I screw on the jar-top, and wash all the varnish off the little brush. I think your trouble must be, that you use too much of the cream. It is better to use too little than to lay it on in great sticky masses.
Cat-sup.—Certainly, your mother’s ideas were all very clever, and it seems to me from her excellent suggestions alone you should be able to get together a splendid lot of hand-made gifts against Christmas. However, since you say so many sweet things of my abilities, I must not fail to offer at least one or two serviceable hints. Why not use up some of the silk scraps you surely must have left over from the pin-cushions and head-rests, in making one or two of the new paper-weights? These are nothing more than little bags filled with sand, and slipped into silk casings. One end of the casing is gathered into a bunch tied about with a bit of narrow ribbon in imitation of an ordinary money-bag. Such a bag, as big as one’s fist and encased in dark-blue silk, has marked on it in gilt “$50.00”; brown-silk bags have ciphers and figures in yellow marked on them, and some can be cleverly ornamented with a neatly done silver dollar in silver paint, or copper cents firmly pasted on. For some half-invalid friend you might work a couple of the pretty hot-roll napkins. These are no more than ordinary big, white, smooth damask napkins, the four corners of which are creased into the centre, and stamped with the words. “Hot Rolls,” in two corners, and with ears of wheat and tiny sickles in the other two ends. With yellow floss the words are easily outlined, and in Kensington stitch the sickle and wheatears may be prettily filled in. I don’t think a napkin, with silk for working included, can cost more than forty or fifty cents, and as they are to be bought already stamped, it takes very little time to put in the silk.
F. S.—The rule is, that on rising to leave you shake hands with your hostess and those of her friends or household that may be receiving with her; to the remainder of the company you merely bow, and bid them good afternoon. ‘Twould be not only very tedious hut unnecessary to take formal adieu of every individual with whom you might possibly have exchanged a word. Afternoon tea is not, you see, meant for formalities, and after greeting and bidding adieu to the hostess, one is entitled to slip in or out without great stir and hand-shaking.
Lady Slipper —Do very much as you please. The excellent tan gloves are now worn as much as ever with gowns of every color, and in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The very latest idea, of course, is the use of white gloves for morning and afternoon calling. These are of soft, white dressed kid, with five buttons, and stitched with black. The very smartest women to some extent follow the fashion of using tinted gloves with evening and dinner gowns. Pale rose, blue, lemon yellow, and green, with light gray, tan. and white, are the most appropriate. The short white calling gloves cost from $1.85 to **2 per pair. The long evening gants de Suede run all the way from $2.75 to $5 and $7 per pair.
Madam B —Not that I ever heard of. White, according to the time-honored custom and prejudice, is worn only at the first bridal, and widows about to remarry wear some soberly colored becoming gown, minus the veil and orange-blossoms. Now, although
there is no law obligating women at their second wedding to resign the lily-white costume. I would most earnestly advise you not to violate the rule and wear while again in defiance of the custom. If you do pretend to initiate such a reform for widows you will be the subject of much cruel criticism among your friends and, if you possess any, among your enemies. Be sure they will not hesitate to speak sarcastically of you. Were you younger a simple white gown might be permissible, but, as you frankly confess to gray hair and a few wrinkles, let me assure you nothing could be in falser taste than the snowy toilet, no matter how flattering are the assurances of your future husband. A handsome silk is what you should wear. It can be of any color you like, and, since you ask my advice. I will give you my opinion as to its color, texture, and pattern. Have the skirt of heaviest Lincoln green or clear gray bengaline. If green is your choice, have the skirt made absolutely plain in front, and at the back sufficiently long to lie out on the floor in a graceful demi-train. At the foot of the skirt let a band of sable three inches wide, or a band of silk feather trimming three inches wide, run about the back and front. Fur is preferable to the feathers. The waist must be made in the form of a Louis Seize coat, with tails long, full, and falling at back and sides at least three inches below the knee. In front, over the bust, it should turn back in revers from a.vest of palest rose-colored chiffon, over which should be looped a full jabot of delicate creamtinted guipure lace. The coat inside may be lined with palest rose silk, and at the cuffs of the full wrinkled bengaline sleeves a touch of lace and chiffon can appear. A high collar of bengaline, edged with fur and lined inside with rose silk over which lace is plaited, finishes off the coat. A bonnet of jet and guipure lace, with green velvet strings to tie under the chin, can be worn with this gown. In case you prefer gray, you can copy this gown in every particular, except that silver fox fur takes the place of sable in trimming, and perhaps dull old blue, or electric blue chiffon with the cream lace may be more becoming than rose-color. I am almost tempted to decline answering your second question. However, my advice would be, that you have the ceremony performed in your father’s house in the presence of relatives only. Wear such a gown as I have described, with your bonnet, receive the good wishes of your family, break bread, or, more literally speaking, cut a bridal cake for them, assume your wraps, and drive immediately to your husband’s home. Your announcement cards only need then to be issued, and on the ‘* at home ” cards enclosed, have engraved the date on which you will be ready to receive your friends.
THE MART AND EXCHANGE.
1. Letters to Mart and Exchange must be marked “Mart and Exchange” in the left-hand top corner of the envelope, and addressed, ” The Illustrated American, Bible House. New York.”
2. Append initials or ” noms de plume” to all communications for this column. Private addresses will be withheld at the office of The Illustrated American, through which all correspondence should puss, in order to insure the good faith of those making use of the department.
3. No letters will be forwarded unless accompanied by stamps.
4. Every letter must be accompanied by an inquiry coupon, which will be found on the third page of cover.
WANTED TO EXCHANGE.
Kodak No. I.—A solid gold watch, valued when new at $200, and a Smith & Wesson revolver valued at $13, for a Victor light roadster, or other light machine.—Owendale.
Magazine.—Three bound volumes of Golden Days, two bound volumes of St. Nicholas, four bound volumes of The Youth’s Companion, for bound volumes of The Illustrated American, if they are in best condition.—Saginaw E. S.
Piano.—A more than ordinarily fine Weber square piano offered for sale at $200, or will exchange for an upright of different make. Lack of space in a new house is the only cause for offering this exchange.—L. H. P.
Books.—Harper s Monthly, beginning with January, 1864, to January, 1888—twenty-four years, complete. All in first-class condition. Offered in exchange for the Century Dictionary.— Bubilum.
WANTED TO SELL.
Dress Uniform,—Consisting of coat, helmet, shoulder-knots, and dress-sword belt. These articles have been worn but once, are therefore nearly new. and are suited for a line officer of infantry. U. S. A. Coat is of best broadcloth, and cost—net—$12.75. Sword-belt. $6; shoulder-knots, $6; helmet. $3—total, $27.75. Will lake $15. Size of helmet, 7i.—Dress Uniform.