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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 7 (October 1, 1938)

Our Women's Section — To Help your Planning

page 57

Our Women's Section
To Help your Planning

I Have sketched a useful outfit for the spring and summer months. The coat and frock are both slim-fitting, cleverly darted at the waist-line. The coat, of satin-backed crepe romaine, has a matching short-sleeved frock, but I have pictured it worn over a bright flower-printed silk. Note the stiffened shoulders and the clever pin-tucking.

The hat, with wide dipping brim, has a grosgrain ribbon trim, with a stiffened “plume” in front.

The handbag, in Morocco, is capacious, containing two compartments, one of which has a special zipped pocket for notes. Metal loops add interest where the handles join on.

The gloves are cleverly thonged in a contrast colour.

The gusset court shoes, with sensible heels, have a smart ribbon bow trim.

To make this a utility outfit, care must be taken in choosing the colour of the two-piece. I suggest navy blue, black, or any of the neutral shades from beige to platinum grey. With navy or grey, choose a hat with white brim edge and trimming. Navy gloves are thonged in white.

Whatever the coat colour, don't match all the accessories to it when wearing the matching dress. Gloves, bags and shoes are offering in a variety of shades which give zest to a one-colour ensemble.

Wet Weather Portables.

On days when you dress for the sunshine but keep an anxious eye on the sky, carry a portable rain outfit.

It may be a folding umbrella which telescopes into half its length and slips neatly into a matching cover. Or you may prefer a 3 1/2 ounce raincoat or cape of a transparent material that looks rather like cellophane. The cape has an attached hood which will cover a small hat; a separate hood may be bought to match the coat. The whole outfit folds into a neat envelope bag about eight inches by five. The colours—blue, red, burgundy, green, lemon or clear—are flattering. This new kind of rainproof is quite dressy enough to slip on over smart clothes at race-meetings or on the way to a theatre.


For formal occasions have the hairdresser sweep your hair upward in curls in the Edwardian manner. For sports, brush it down and under in the page-boy style.

Dinner Tables.

Cutlery canteens are now being made in sets of eight. For so many households, six are too few and a dozen too many.

The newer table knives, copying the French style, are growing shorter in the blade and longer in the handle. This type of knife is easier to handle, especially for those of us who are tempted to move the index finger down nearer the cutting edge.

Table mats for informal meals are abandoning ecru and pastel shades. For a dull day, use mats of natural coloured linen bound in scarlet, or banded at the edge in yellow, orange and brown. A suggestion for midsummer is green spotted linen.

Summer Furs.

Furs are no longer made exclusively for winter wear. Women know how flattering fur is and are demanding summer fur styles. The idea is a good one, especially for New Zealand, where the “between seasons,” with their coolish days and evenings are so long.

The lightweight furs—dyed squirrel, moleskin, antelope, grey lamb, ocelot—are chosen for special summer-planned models. The bolero style, the cape, the short coat, the swing three-quarter length, are all popular.

A delightful bolero, in nigger-brown American broadtail, has wide shoulders and short sleeves. An authentic summer touch is given by a large white piqué bow at the neck, and a hint of white cuffs below the sleeves.

In coats, look for squared shoulders, big sleeves, short sleeves, very large collars, no collars.

page 58

Ties and capes in blue and silver fox are smart for town wear, and also in the evenings. Red fox is right for all occasions.

An English hip-length jacket is of skunk mounted on black suede. The suede, stitched with gold, forms a border down the front.

News in Prints.

Printed silks are flowery. Flowers may make a small all-over pattern; they may be scattered, slightly larger, in bunches; they may grow in rows.

Linens are delightfully original. For frocks, designs are floral, e.g., a white linen printed with large red sunflowers. For beach wear, one looks for novelty prints showing yachts, or sunshades, or anything that's rather ridiculous on a dress material.

It's the furnishing linen which interests me most. The idea is to have curtains in plain linen, and upholstery in a printed linen, or vice versa. For a den, consider brown linen curtains and a brown and white printed linen for chair coverings. Think of red and red-and-white for a cheerful dining-room, and green and green-and-white for a drawing-room or bedroom.

A successful drawing-room features grey and yellow. The upholstery is in grey, piped with yellow, and the curtains are printed in an unusual grey, yellow and white design.

Note the importance of white in furnishing and in furnishing fabrics. The use of unstained wood has a great deal to do with this fashion.

London, 20th July, 1938.

Dear Helen,—I had hoped this week to make another trip to Paris during the Royal visit, but unfortunately John is tied to London for the present. The King and Queen left for France this morning. Last evening we saw the crimson hangings in readiness at Victoria Station, and cleaners were being specially zealous over their sweeping. A large shop opposite is very patriotic with bunting.

But Paris is the place for preparations! Crowds have thronged the streets this week to see the decorations. The populace has responded nobly to the appeal of the President of the Municipal Council: “Put flags in your windows. Decorate your houses. Let the colours of the two nations float everywhere interlaced.” There will be a wonderful response to “Cheer the King. Cheer the Queen.”

The headlines in the press are growing bigger and bigger. We hear of masts bearing long red white and blue streamers in the Champs Elysee, of pylons each carrying 128 flags in the Place de l'Etoile, of 80,000 roses transforming the Avenue de l'Opera into a lane of flowers—and of Parisiennes wearing Union Jacks on their stockings.

Yes, I'd love to be over there where the wine of life is a-sparkle on the boulevards and even the Anglo-Saxon stranger is elated by the easy bubbling gaiety.

London seems drab in comparison, even though painters have been busy for weeks hiding the winter's grime. Here, summer is not bearing out the promise of the spring. Morning after morning we set out with raincoat or umbrella, knowing that ere long showers will splash down. That is why English people are weather pessimists.

Shows, where attendances dropped abruptly during the short hot spell in June, are benefiting from the cooler weather. We have patronised quite a few.

On Saturday evening, as a farewell to friends, we made up a party for the circus. I had looked forward so much to a first-class English circus—but I was disappointed. There was a blaring band, and a circus ring, and a ring-master and half a dozen clowns—but the circus atmosphere was missing. We were cut off by a row of footlights and the proscenium from the canvas, the sawdust—and the animal odours. The turns were all good — performing seals, elephants, dogs, an unrideable mule, and acrobats and equestrians galore—but I merely felt bored. I thought perhaps it was my fault, but John says he felt the same.

Straight plays are the safest things to attend. I believe you had “George and Margaret” in New Zealand at Easter. Isn't it a delightful play? It's still running here and shows no signs of closing down. Another long run is that of “French Without Tears,” but I didn't enjoy it nearly so much. It's not such a natural play, and the jokes presuppose in the audience a considerable knowledge of the French tongue—all right in London, judging by the immediate response of most of the audience, but the same gags would fall rather flat in New Zealand, where we're certainly taught to read French,