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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 8 (November 1939)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

White for Summer

For freshness and smartness, for any hour of the day, choose white.

For that early game of tennis, slip into an extremely simple white linen, sleeveless, with a very short flared skirt. (Yes, above the knees!). The peter-pan collar, the belt and the pocket monogram may be in colour.

For the seaside promenade or for any outdoor holiday occasion, wear a white linen jacket with elbow sleeves and mannish revers. If your frock or trouser suit is of navy, have the jacket piped to match, and you'll double the style value.

For town (coffee at eleven, a little luncheon party, afternoon meeting) be suitably clad and very smart in your slim dark frock with white peter-pan collar and belt, worn under a white swagger coat; your turban, of course, is also of white.

Equally smart is a suit of dark grey or black when freshened with a front of white broderie anglaise and a white hat, miniature sailor style, with the crown swathed in black ribbon which hangs in wide tails at the back. The same hat will look delightful with your plainest black frock, especially if collar and cuffs are white.

Veils can do astonishing things to white hats. A cheeky “young” gob hat, held in place by a back band of white ribbon, becomes older, more experienced, when draped with dark veiling.

I have seen the sweetest “granny” bonnet in white (or black) for the young, complete even to white ribbon ties under the chin.

For the evening reception be soigné in chalk-white crepe, deftly draped. The corsage is deceivingly simple, with slim, plain shoulder straps, and three tiny diamenté clips to hold the front fullness in place.

In contrasting mode is the picture frock, the young girl's dream, in white muslin, huge-skirted, frilled and furbelowed. If you love muslin, but not dead white, combine white and black, white for frill and black for furbelow, excitingly commingled. Or choose the same material, the same style, in a rich, strong shade of royal blue.

Her Outlook is Warped.

I'm laughing at Mrs. A., although I suppose I should weep for her. I've been listening, as sympathetically as may be (hypocrite that I am!) to one of her typical monologues. A simple question is enough to start her off. The conversation, leaving out my brief interpolations and attempts at departure, goes something like this:

“And how is John getting on at school, Mrs. A.?”

“Oh, very well, considering. Not but what he'd do a lot better if he was helped more by the teacher, but there it is. I've never known a teacher yet who didn't have pets, and John resents it. He should have as much attention as anyone else, even if their fathers are bank managers and lawyers, and so I've told him—and told his teacher too, not in so many words, but a pretty clear hint.

“I've had John at home with a cold most of the week. I must get his teacher to shift him away from the window. No, not a bad cold. Yes, thank you, it seems to be better now, but I'm not sending him back in a hurry. Some of the boys are so rough in the playground, and John gets playing with them and gets over-heated, and stays late after school, and I'm worried as to his whereabouts. No, he's not subject to colds. Yes, he's quite strong, but I feel a mother should take care.

“No, I haven't seen Mrs. B. lately, not since the bazaar. I suppose she's up to the eyes preparing for her boy's birthday party to-morrow?

“Muddle! That's what I thought when I had to help her with her stall at the last minute, boxing those sweets page 58 that Mrs. C. sent in at the last minute. Most inconsiderate! Not that the birthday party's going to be so grand, with just her small dining-room and garden. No, John's not going. He's at home with a cold. But, as I said to John, Mrs. B. might at least have invited him. He's not so much younger than Bert, and, after all, she and I have been friends for years—as far as one can be with a woman who's all for herself and her own, and really more hindrance than help when it comes to committees and sewing meetings and such things.

“Yes, the bazaar went off quite well. And so it should, with all the work that went into it. I just slaved over that flower stall. Not but what I could have taken it easy, like some of the stallholders, as far as the vicar's wife was concerned. Not a word, my dear, not a word! Far too busy, she was, entertaining the nobs, to spare a bit of praise for those who'd slaved to make it a success. Yes, certainly the vicar seemed most appreciative in his little speech. I always thought it was a pity he married her, so much younger, and really with no vocation for it. Yes, I suppose she is settling down quite nicely, and it's not as if she was a young girl, but still….

“Oh, there's Mrs. C. I don't suppose she'll look this way. Just too up and down, haven't you noticed? One day sweet as pie, and the next she hardly knows you exist.”

And so on, and so on, while one vainly strives to get away gracefully. When one does succeed, one spends a few anxious moments wondering what Mrs. A. will have to say about one to the next acquaintance she meets.

Poor Mrs. A.! She should arouse pity, rather than amusement and annoyance. Some day she will be an ugly old woman, with her face expressing the suspicion and jealously she feels for the rest of humanity. If only she could realize what is happening to her, and do something about it.

Meantime, she is ruining her boy John, a naturally healthy, friendly soul. Each day she pours into his ear a little of the poison which is killing her own best qualities. If only she realized, she would seek an immediate antidote.

If she made a habit of asking John what “good” things happened at school, she would no doubt hear of many little words of praise and encouragement from so-called “unsympathetic” teachers, and of jolly happenings in class-room and playground. Also, she would be directing John's attention towards happy things, and thus developing a happy outlook.

It is a great pity that Mrs. A. remembers every good deed (e.g., helping Mrs. B. with her stall) and expects always to be done by as she did. Surely a little help to others gives pleasure enough to the helper, without tallying up and expecting a quid pro quo.

Poor Mrs. A.! I don't wonder that even the friendliest people rather avoid her. Her complaints about others make so clear her own warped, jealous outlook. Why doesn't she forget about herself, and treat the rest of the world naturally and happily, without wondering what slights are intended? No one wishes or intends to slight her; and it's a friendly world to friendly people.