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Rules of Fashion #3

Edna Woolman Chases' third point or rule about dressing is definitely one that can be found repeated over and over again in all the women's magazines- about dressing for your body type. By now we all know that we should play up our assets and downplay the parts of ourselves that we find less than perfect, but Mrs. Chase states this idea with such wit that it seems worth repeating here. She also touches on individuality and rule-breaking in dressing, which seems rather unnecessary to us in our age where all the rules have already been blasted apart.

Point #3: Choose for yourself clothes that play up your good points and subdue your bad. Have you pretty legs, but a thick middle? Perhaps your hips depress you, but from the waist up you are a Tanagra figurine? Or have you the lean, lithe flanks of a Diana yet are overly emphasized above? For this silhouette the French have an apt expression: "Beaucoup de monde au balcon"- a lot of people in the balcony. These are the assets and defects you must be aware of.

Know thyself and dress accordingly is the great fashion edict. Certain cliche warnings on the whole are probably sound; if you are partridge-plump a print of cabbage roses may not be for you. On the other hand, if you are small and slim the dictum that you should wear only "dainty" jewelry is groundless. If you yearn for chunks, go ahead. A massive bracelet makes a slender wrist more fragile. There are times when the truly chic woman achieves style and individuality through breaking with tradition, but remember! Revolution takes experience. It can take money as well, which brings us to...


And you'll just have to wait to see what money has to do with style according to Mrs. Chase.

Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc.,1954. Photo by Baron de Meyer, 1919.

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