A Sparkling Vintage Life

‘Tis the Season to Be Colorful (31 Days of a Sparkling Vintage Fall, Day 10)

mademoiselle fall 1958 Here’s another simple tip for celebrating autumn: Dress in seasonally-appropriate colors! If autumn’s reds, golds, and browns aren’t the most flattering for your own coloring, consider using them in accessories, jewelry, and away from your face (as in skirts and pants).

Here’s what Mary Brooks Picken had to say about seasonal colors in clothing in 1916:

“Nature serves as an excellent guide in color selection, and she may always be followed to advantage in matters of dress. Thus, in the spring, Old Mother Nature does not consult the fashion books, but puts forth the beautiful violets, primroses, hyacinths, and daffodils. In her scheme of coloring she harmonizes the fresh green of the trees with the pink petals of the apple blossoms and the delicate colorings of the springtime flowers. Her color scheme is so near perfection that no one has been wise enough to improve on it. In summer, she modifies these colors, making them lighter in tone and thus creating an atmosphere of coolness and comfort; in autumn, she turns the foliage to the soft browns, tans, and russets, suggesting appropriate colors for this season; and as snowy, bleak, cold winter steals upon us, she warns us to defy the icy blasts by dressing warmly and putting on bright colors suggestive of heat and warmth. . . . By following Nature, that is giving correct thought to appropriateness in the matter of color and choosing gowns and wraps suitable for each season, there will be little chance for repetition of color in a person’s wardrobe; likewise, there will be greater opportunity to work out a color scheme in gowns, wraps, hats, shoes, and accessories and thereby avoid the extravagancies in dress so often accredited to women.”

(from “Harmony of Dress,” an instructional booklet published by the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Inc., 1916)

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Jennifer Lamont Leo