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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)

The March Towards Summer

The March Towards Summer.

As Spring advances, we note the prevalence of green, red, deep shades of blue, beige to brown, yellows (especially primrose and mustard). Pastel shades, grey, black and white in combination, and white alone are all important. Aeroplane grey is a grey with almost a beige tint. So, as regards colour, all ages and all complexions are catered for.

Fabrics are patterned with stripes, checks (the larger and more broken the better), plaids or floral designs. Small flower patterns seem more popular than they have been for several seasons. Cotton fabrics are fascinating. I saw a charming frock in white organdie, ruffled over the shoulders, bound at the natural waistline with a twist of black and white, and flaring from the knees in a fluted skirt. In sharp contrast was the severity of a suit in coarse linen with loose threequarter length coat.

Muslin is another revival which will lend charm to the summer season. In white or colours, plain or spotted, soft or starched, it will compose many a dainty gown. Yes, we shall have to start talking about “gowns” again; there is a dignity about even the “young-girl” frocks, with their air of dainty demureness.

King Cotton will rule the social world for the ensuing months. His heralds were last season's ginghams; organdie, muslin, linen are in his train, and the new anticrease cottons will make his reign secure. Bundle an “anti-crease” frock into your week-end bag, shake it out at your destination, and slip it on without the worry of enquiring for iron and ironing blanket.

And the multitude of textures and patterns provide something suitable for every occasion, from boating to bridge or from tennis to talkies.

Although curves are once more on fashion's list, don't give up your dieting; and remain an exercise fan, for the slim silhouette is still the feminine aim. In any case, how much better we feel, how much clearer is our skin and brighter our eyes, when we pay proper attention to food and physique.

Sleeves are very important. Short sleeves are puffed or frilled; long sleeves puff or mould the arm as long as they do both in the same garment. The feminine portion of the “older generation” is having great fun with “I remembers.” “Oh! Look at those sleeves! I had a coat like that. I remember, we were going for a picnic at Maori Bank. Starching coming in again! You young people don't realise the trouble it will be. Yes, I'll admit it looks very charming.”

“Frills! My dear, I remember a blouse I had. It took hours to iron.” I wonder if, some day soon, we'll look back on the “boyish” figure, flat back and front, and laugh?

Besides short coats to wear with summer frocks, we must have capes, large or small. A business-like tennis frock, perhaps page 54 with the new square armhole, may be transformed, for more dressy occasions, by the addition of a cape, fitting at the neck but otherwise of any shape decided upon by its maker. The neckline is noticeably higher. Back closing, real or simulated, is also a feature of the new styles. Buttons run smartly down the back—for quick dressing, don't have too much of the real back closing.

Trimmings are legion, and frocks are certainly “fussy.” Of special note are frills and ruffles. Skirts and sleeves bear ruffles, large or small. Organdie neck ruffles may be bought by the yard, and remind me, somehow, of the feather boa.

If you make your own summer frocks, choose styles featuring bows. Bows are everywhere. Have a frock with a sash effect. To wear with your linen or lightweight suit choose a gay, made-up bow scarf, which doesn't become limp and shabby by dint of tying and untying, but cleverly clips on with the aid of pressclaps. Capes may be incorporated with frocks as well as being detachable. By the way, capes permit a wardrobe to seem larger than it is if your colour scheme allows them to be interchangeable. Cross-over berthas are smart and dainty.

King Cotton rules also in the ballroom as he is doing in America and Europe. Our early winter ginghams and dimities forecasted that, didn't they?

Spring coats are well-fitting, with special attention to the sleeve development, or they are of the “swagger” type. The three-quarter length coat of the sporty variety will be one of our most useful summer garments. A few days ago I saw a very smart new coat in brown and beige check, cut with a loose back and raglan sleeves. The coat was, of course, three-quarter length. With it was worn a little, round brown cap.

Hand-bags will no longer form a note of contrast, but will match frocks. White hand-bags will be very smart. Hats must have brims in order to suit the frock styles.