The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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538                              ladies' toilet.
look worse. Above all, as you regard health, comfort, and beauty, do not lace too tightly. A waist too small for the natural propor­tion of the figure is the worst possible deformity, and produces many others. No woman who laces tight can have good shoulders, a straight spine, good lungs, sweet breath, or is fit to be a wife and mother. The most elegant dresses are black or white; common modesty will prevent indecent exposure of the shoulders and bo­som. A vulgar girl wears bright and glaring robes, fantastically made; a large flaring, red, yellow, or sky-blue hat, covered with a rainbow of ribbons, and all the rings and trinkets she can load upon her. Of course, a modest, well-bred lady chooses the reverse of this. In any assemblage, the most plainly-dressed woman is sure to be the most ladylike and attractive. Neatness is better than rich­ness, and plainness is better than display. Single ladies dress less in fashionable society than married ones, and all more plainly and substantially, for walking or traveling, than other occasions. As a general rule, applicable to both sexes, that persons are the best dressed when you cannot remember what they had on. Avoid everything out Qf the way, uncommon, or grotesque.
To Pack Away Dresses.—Carefully fold in very dark-blue paper, as highly glazed as possible. This will preserve the color of them, but they must be kept in a dry place, or be occasionally unfolded and hung for a few hours in a dry room, and the paper be dried, too, otherwise they will be sure to be spotted with mold.
The Best Dressed persons are those that wear the least jewelry. Of all things, avoid showy chains, large rings, and flaring gewgaw pins and brooches. All these should be left to the uncivilized In­dians and South Sea Islanders.
Photographs, to Dress.—In taking photographs, dress in dark-brown, dark-green, maroon, and plain black goods, without gloss, will make a dark, rich, drab color; silks of a drab color consider­ably lighter; snuff-brown, dark-leather, dark beaver, dark-drab ; scarlet, cherry, orange, crimson, and slate, will take a very rich drab color. Violet, blue, purple, pink, and magenta will take very light, and should not be worn when sitting for a picture.
Lotion for the Complexion.—Mix together 1-2 oz. powdered borax and 1 oz. of pure glycerine, with 1 quart of camphor water. Wet the face every morning, and when nearly dry, wash it clean * and wipe it dry.
For the Skin.—An old English prescription.—Slice a cucumber in a cup of blue skimmed milk, let it stand an hour, then bathe the hands and face in it; when dry wash it off. It is said that it will cause the hair to grow on bald spots.
To Soften and Refine the Skin.—"Ugly Girl."—Rub the milk