Bedroom— fashion

Bedroom photo credit
To Bedroom Personal Care

for men

on dress and ornaments

A man is judged of by his appearance, and seldom incorrectly. A neat exterior, equally free from extravagance and poverty, always proclaims a right-minded and sensible man: To dress appropriately, and with good taste, is to respect yourself and others.

A black coat and trowsers are indispensable for a visit of ceremony, an entertainment, an evening party, or a ball. The white or black vest is equally proper in any of these cases. Very ceremonious visits require a dress shoe and a white vest. The hand should always be gloved on such occasions. Always wear kids in dancing. A gentleman, when in dress and out of his business, should also walk out gloved. One hand may be uncovered; the one you will extend if you meet an acquaintance.

If it be not well-bred for a gentleman out of business hours to appear in the street or at church without gloves, it is still less so for a lady.

Rings and heavy gold chains are not in good taste. Some young persons, of both sexes, have a strong desire to sport gold and jewels; but let them remember that such is the taste of gamblers and courtesans, and they may realize how really vulgar is too much jewelry.

beadle’s dime book of practical etiquette, 1859, p. 21-22

for men only

dress-suits (or evening dress)

Trousers (never say pants) with dress-suits are never made tight, even if the fashion is to have closely fitting trousers for every-day wear.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 39


The fashion in these suits varies most in regard to the cut of the opening of the waistcoat (never say vest). Formerly it was cut in a V shape, but lately it is cut like a U. Three buttons are enough on a waistcoat.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 40


Parting Hair

In combing one's hair, which comes along about this time in the order of dressing, the principal point to be considered is where to part it. There is little doubt that it ought to be parted in the middle. So doing adds to the symmetry of the face, and it is almost the invariable practice in all countries, the United States excepted. In the noted public art-galleries of Europe one rarely or never sees an antique statue with its chiseled hair parted on the side.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 13

washing hair

Avoid frequent shampooing, as it tends to make the hair come out. The hair should be washed in cold water, without soap, during the morning bath. It is held by some that washing the head in a basin containing a few drops of ammonia in the water helps to keep the head free from dandruff. This may be so. At any rate, the hair must be kept so clean that there is never any dandruff on the coat-collar. It is well enough to comb the head once a week with a fine-tooth comb before washing it.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 17


The care of razors may be a little difficult at first, but the knack of sharpening them is easily learned, and, aside from the advantage of cleanliness, if one has a tender skin, he can shave himself more easily than anyone else can do it for him. Of course, for trimming the beard—the chin-whisker is not tolerated now—the mustache, and the hair, it is necessary to endure a barber; but under no circumstances should he be allowed to put anything on the hair except cold water, Nothing is so objectionable as the smell of cheap perfumery. A word here as to perfumery in general. Don't use it. It was formerly employed, according to some authorities, by people who did not take baths, to disguise that omission; and, from this point of view, the use of it today is a suspicious circumstance.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 13


For a man who is very particular about baths, and hasn't much active work to do, a shirt every other day and clean collar and cuffs every day answer very well. Collars and cuffs, it is to be feared, are really made separate from shirts to save washing, because it is cheaper to wash them than to wash a whole shirt. So, naturally, when a man wants to be very particular about his dress, he wears shirts with collars and cuffs attached, and changes once a day at least.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 31

shirts, an abomination

There is, however, an abomination which must be mentioned here, and that is a shirt which opens behind. It is really only one remove from the “dickey,” than which nothing could be lower. It is made thus so that the bosom will not get soiled, and with the idea that it can be worn much longer without showing dirt. Of course, this is a violation of the idea that it is a gentleman's object to be clean and not to save washing. Paper collars, celluloid collars, and everything in this line save linen collars, are under the same ban.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 32

shirts, fabric for

It is sufficient for any man to have his shirts made of plain linen, without dots or embroidery on the bosom. Those are extras. With plain linen, which fits well and is well washed and ironed, one can go anywhere in the civilized world with a consciousness that his shirt is all right.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 34


The best kind of shoe to buy, from an economical point of view, is ordinary French calf-skin, with medium soles, and black or very dark-blue cloth tops, which button. A shoe of this kind nicely polished can be worn with any suit of clothes—for business or for dress.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 23-24


Socks should be white for the same reason that under-clothing should be white.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 23


It is not necessary to dwell upon the importance of cleaning the teeth. They should be brushed twice a week with toothpowder, and every day with soap and water.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 17


Anyone who is careful about his personal habits gives some thought to his under-clothes. They really ought to be white (unless one has a fancy that red flannel is good for rheumatism), simply because white shows that it is soiled the moment it is so. The man who wears dark under-clothes lays himself open to the suspicion that he doesn't care about cleanliness so much as he cares about saving washing and trouble by means of garments that do not show dirt. If a man takes a bath every morning, three suits of under-clothing for the winter are enough. He can change twice a week, provided the washerwoman is prompt. In summer more suits are required, frequent changes being necessary on account of perspiration. One should change his under-clothing in summer often enough to prevent the slightest odor from attaching itself to him.

Silk vs. Woolen Under-clothing

Silk under-clothing is not really essential for elegance or comfort. It is agreeable to wear it with evening dress. The trousers hang better when worn over silk drawers, woolen garments having a tendency to make the trousers stick to the legs. This is true of all trousers when worn over woolen, but a gentleman only needs to give attention to this point in the case of dress-trousers. If a man cannot have one pair of thin, and one of thick, silk drawers (for summer and winter), let him prefer a thin pair. These can be worn in winter over a moderately heavyweight pair of woolen drawers, and the set of the trousers thereby much improved. There is nothing ridiculous or silly in devices like this from the right point of view. Flannels and silk under-wear ought to be washed by someone who knows how, lest they should shrink. It is desirable, of course, that under-clothing should fit pretty snugly, especially the drawers.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 20-22

summary of what men need

It will perhaps be convenient, as a sort of résumé of what has been said in earlier chapters, to give in tabular form the articles of wearing apparel which a careful man who wishes to dress well, but economically, should have. Here is such a table of suggestions:

Winter under-clothing3 suits
Summer under-clothing6 "
with collars and cuffs attached.2
Shirts without collars and cuffs6
Collars 10
Cuffs10 pairs
Socks6 "
Calf-skin shoes2 "
Patent-leather shoes1pair
Cutaway suit (summer)1
Cutaway suit (winter)1
Extra trousers (for each suit)
Winter overcoat1
Spring overcoat1
High silk hat1
Derby hat1
Gloves2 pairs
Neck scarfs 2
Lawn ties6
Link sleeve-buttons, gold1 pair
Studs, white enamel or gold1 set

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 74-75

visiting cards

A visiting-card is not exactly part of a gentleman’s dress, but it is something which, in a town of any size, he is obliged to have. In size it should be small—about three inches long and one inch and a half wide—and cut from thin, white cardboard. The name should always be preceded by “Mr.” It is well, also, and the fashion is sensibly growing, to spell the entire name in full—middle names and all. The reason naturally is, that if a man has a name he should use it. A commercial man uses the initials of his first two or three names in writing a letter on business, presumably to save time. But in genteel relations in life a gentleman is not in a hurry. He has leisure to write his name in full. Never have cards printed. They should be either engraved or written in lead-pencil.

hints about men’s dress, 1888. p. 82-83

for women

colors and complextion

the fair blonde

The Fair Blonde has a delicate white skin, light hair, ranging in color from golden hue to yellow or orange-brown, and eyes of gray or light blue. This type, in periods of buoyant health, may have slight tones of rose on the cheeks, and a richer tint on the lips.

Let us consider what is required to enhance the beauty of this type. In the complexion itself rose-color or red is wanting. The hair should have a more decided hue, or, if its own hue is objectionable, a change for the better is desirable. All this can be done by the proper selection of color in dress.

Of all colors for the dress, Green is most favorable to the Fair Blonde, because it imparts to the delicate flesh white of the complexion a tint of red, forming by union an agreeable rose-color.

Delicate Green is most suitable, being a good contrast both to the face and hair, especially if the hair be golden, or incline toward orange.

From this we learn that the most becoming colors to associate with green are red, orange, and gold-color. Green and gold form a rich harmony. A scarlet is more agreeable with green than a crimson—red; but if a red inclining to crimson be used, orange or gold-color should be added.

Green may be associated with shades of itself, but the combination is not effective unless enlivened by other harmonious colors.

A Green bonnet is suitable to the Fair Blonde; it may have a small proportion of rose-color in its trimmings associated with white, and a white feather. Too much white, however, with green, produces a cold effect, and therefore does not aid the fair complexion to the desired degree.

Orange or gold-color may be substituted for pink; so also may red; but neither must be placed in juxtaposition with the face. A small proportion of orange in a green bonnet is to be recommended when the eyes of the wearer are blue.

A few shades of red, orange, and yellow-green (autumnal tints), when not too dark, improve a green bonnet. These shades may be introduced in the form of leaves.

Dark Green is not so favorable to the Fair Blonde as Delicate Green; being so dark in comparison with the complexion, it neutralizes its own influence—that is, as a green it gives its complementary color, red, and as a dark color it reduces the complexion by decided contrast. All dark colors have the latter effect on fair complexions.

Blue is highly favorable to the Fair Blonde, as it imparts an orange tint, which combines in an agreeable manner with the delicate white and flesh tints of the complexion. The Fair Blonde has naturally traces of orange color on the skin, and an intensifying of this natural tint is in most cases very pleasing. The blue used must be light, and not too positive.

As blue is the perfect contrast of orange, it agrees well with golden or orange-brown hair. Thus it is that a blue headdress is so becoming on light hair. To give proper value to blue by gaslight, a little white or very pale blue is required in juxtaposition. If green be introduced in a blue headdress, in the form of leaves, for instance, it should be placed as near the face as possible. The most suitable blue for the headdress of ladies with very fair hair is sky-blue.

A Light Blue bonnet, for the reasons given, is very suitable to the Fair Blonde. It may be trimmed with white or black, and small portions of yellow, orange, straw-color, or stone-color, but must not be ornamented with purple or pink flowers, for both form harmonies with blue, and are unsuitable to fair complexions.

A Turquoise Blue bonnet may be trimmed with fawn, gray, drab, or nankin.

The colors particularly to be avoided by the Fair Blonde are Yellow, Orange, Red, and Purple. The latter may be used in its light shades of Lilac, but is even then trying to the complexion, although not to an important degree if separated from positive juxtaposition by an edging of tulle, or similar trimming.

The injurious influence of lilac is much lessened when associated with its harmonizing colors, such as cherry, scarlet, light crimson, gold, or gold-color. On no account must green be coupled with lilac, as it forms a positive discord.

A small proportion of light purple is agreeable in a headdress for light hair, but must not be placed near the skin.

Neutral Colors accord well with a fair complexion; when not too dark, they, as a rule, give value to the natural complexion; when dark, they reduce the tone by contrast. The best neutrals for the Fair Blonde are Gray, Fawn, Slate, Drab, and some shades of Brown.

Before we proceed to treat of Black as regards its own value with the complexion, we may remark that, associated in trimmings (such as narrow ribbons, braided work, or lace) with any of the above colors, it has a tendency to heighten their effect, especially by gaslight. This is caused by the power black has to absorb light, particularly artificial light.

Black, although sad in its effect, and the acknowledged garb of mourning, is nevertheless highly favorable to a Fair Blonde who has a considerable amount of healthy color, because it increases the rose of the complexion. It has a somewhat disadvantageous effect on pale skins, bleaching them by powerful contrast.

No delicate color can be associated with black without appearing lighter in tone.

To remove the gloomy or sombre effect of black, colors should be added in trimmings, such as the following: blue, cherry, drab, mulberry, or lilac. Cherry and lilac should be used very sparingly for fair complexions. White is suitable with black, but is cold and harsh without some color be added. Red must not be used with black, as it gives it a rusty tinge.

A Black bonnet agrees well with a fair complexion, and may be ornamented with white and rose-color, or with white alone. Rose must be kept well away from the skin. White feathers are a great improvement to a black bonnet.

White is similar in its effects to black; it heightens the natural rose of the face by contrast, and increases the paleness of a pale skin by powerful reflection.

White is suitable to every complexion which has an agreeable natural tone, but perhaps to none more so than to the Fair Blonde with a healthy color. Small quantities of bright colors may be added to a white dress with pleasing effect, and they will not injure the complexion if kept low down and well grouped.

We remarked that white increases the paleness of a pale skin; this objectionable influence may be considerably neutralized by a green or blue wreath, brought well towards the face.

A White bonnet, when made of semitransparent materials, such as tulle, crape, or aerophane, is suitable to this type, and may be ornamented to advantage with white and blue flowers.

color in dress, published 1872, p. 8-17

the ruddy blonde

The Ruddy Blonde has a full-toned complexion, somewhat inclining to positive rose-red or carnation, with dark blue or brown eyes and brown hair. This type is much subject to an increase of color in times of exercise or excitement.

The colors described as suitable for the Fair Blonde are, generally speaking, suitable for the type now under consideration; but their tones, and in some cases their hues, must be altered.

As a rule, the Ruddy Blonde may use more freedom in the selection of colors than the Fair Blonde; her complexion, not being of so delicate a nature, is less sensitive. From the fact that the hair peculiar to this type is the medium between golden and black, and that the tints of the complexion are high and positive, rich and moderately dark colors in dress are to be recommended.

As in the Fair type, Green is one of the best colors for the Ruddy Blonde, but in the present instance delicate green is not so suitable as Dark Green. When the complexion is of a light color, and can receive mord red without becoming overcharged, a rich full-toned green may be adopted, such as a grass- or moss-green, which, although sufficiently bright to yield color to the skin, is not a contrast powerful enough to bleach it.

In proportion as the complexion increases in color, a green of deeper hue must be selected, and progress must be made from the positive to the neutral hues, such as sage, tea, or olive greens. Deep neutral greens do not cast much red on the complexion, while they both har-monize with and reduce its natural tints.

The simple rule to be observed in the case of the Ruddy Blonde is—the paler her complexion the brighter must be the green of her dress; the rosier it is, the deeper and more neutral must the green be.

A Bright Green bonnet is highly suitable to the Ruddy Blonde whose complexion is not overcharged with rose. When highly colored, the effect of the green should be neutralized by the addition of rose, scarlet, orange, or white flowers. On the inside of the bonnet, these colored flowers should be surrounded with some gray or semi-transparent material, to prevent them from coming in contact with the skin. On the outside, it is advisable to use several dead-green tints, as autumn leaves, with the flowers, particularly if orange and scarlet ones are selected. Rose-colored flowers harmonize better with bright yellow-green than with dead-green leaves.

Blue is advantageous to the Ruddy Blonde, giving the complexion an agreeable tint. The orange which blue casts upon the skin is not itself perceptible, as it unites with the rose and flesh tints, forming a fresh and healthy color.

Blue follows the same rule as green, that is, it must be used deeper with complexions of full color than with those of lighter tint.

The best colors to associate with rich blue are orange, salmon, and chocolate. Both white and black harmonize well with blue. For further information on this subject we must refer our readers to the following Part on Harmony.

A Blue bonnet agrees well with the Ruddy Blonde, and may be trimmed with black, white, or any of the above colors, in small quantities.

A Blue wreath or headdress suits full-toned brown hair well, giving it an increase of orange, which is one of its constituents.

The same colors must be avoided by the Ruddy Blonde that are pointed out as injurious to the Fair Blonde.

Perhaps of all colors the most difficult to introduce in dress is Violet, its effect upon the complexion being so unsatisfactory. It causes all skins to appear yellow, and none can receive that color without at once looking sickly and disagreeable.

A considerable proportion of yellow is required to neutralize violet and reduce its powerful effect.

A Violet bonnet, trimmed in front with yellow and some semi-transparent material, may be rendered pleasing.

As Violet becomes positively lost in artificial light, it is totally unsuited to be introduced in evening dress.

The Neutral Colors are generally suitable to the Ruddy Blonde. When of medium intensity, they leave the natural hue of the complexion almost uninfluenced; when light, they increase its color; when dark, they reduce it by contrast. The most agreeable dark neutrals are russet, slate, gray, maroon, and all the hues and shades of brown; the most pleasing light neutrals are gray, drab, fawn, and stone-color.

The remarks we made respecting White and Black, in connection with the former type, apply in every way to them in connection with the Ruddy Blonde.

color in dress, published 1872, p. 17-22

the pale brunette

The Pale Brunette type has a pale skin, perhaps in some instances having a trace of sallowness, with dark brown hair, at times approaching to black, and eyes of a deep brown or brown-black hue.

The powerful contrast which exists between the tint of the complexion and the hue of the hair and eyes, shows that either light or very dark colors will suit the Pale Brunette better than medium tints—the light harmonizing with the complexion and the dark with the hair and eyes.

Black, analogous to the hue of the hair and eyes, is highly favorable to the Pale Brunette, contrasting in the most perfect manner with the complexion, as well as purifying and giving value to its natural tints.

Almost all the shades of Dark Brown, which stand, as far as analogy is concerned, in the same position in reference to the hair as black, are, like it, very suitable.

Claret, Dark Russet, and Crimson are suitable to this type, but not so much so as black or brown.

Dark Blue, Green, or Violet may be used, but not with complexions having the slightest trace of yellow. The nearer these colors approach black, the more suitable they become; positive, blue, green, or purple must be avoided.

White, analogous to the tint of the skin, is very favorable to the Pale Brunette, and enhances the richness of the hair and eyes. For evening wear nothing surpasses white, as it is rendered particularly pleasing by the yellow cast it receives from artificial light.

The union of yellow and white is agreeable for evening dress, lighting up well; but it is dull and poor for day costume.

Gold-color or Maize is most suitable to the Pale Brunette; it forms an agreeable contrast to the eyes and hair, deepening their tone; and it neutralizes any unpleasant sallowness which may exist in the complexion.

color in dress, published 1872, p. 23-26

the florid brunette

The most perfect of all the types of female beauty is that of which we are about to speak.

The Florid brunette has a rich-toned skin, inclining in some cases to the olive, in others to the copper-colored complexion, with more or less deep redness about the cheeks and lips. The eyes of this type are black, the hair a jet or blue black.

The complexion peculiar to the Florid brunette may be said to consist of a light subdued yellow or orange-brown, and the portions which display color are more of a positive red than a rose color, as in the Blonde types.

We may observe that in the complexion of this type tones of yellow, orange, and red predominate, which harmonize together by analogy, and with the hair and eyes, which are black, by contrast.

As the Florid brunette displays naturally an agreeable group of harmonizing tints, care must be taken not to weaken the harmony by the use of objectionable colors. At the same time, it is advisable to neutralize any unpleasant tint which the complexion may contain, such as too much yellow, which has a decided tendency to give a sallow and unhealthy cast to the skin.

Yellow, Maize, and Gold-color suit the Florid brunette, because, while they contrast in a highly favorable manner with the hair and eyes, intensifying them by the addition of purple, they harmonize by analogy with the tints of the complexion, and neutralize, to a considerable degree, any superabundance of yellow they may naturally contain.

When the complexion displays more orange than yellow in its tints, an increase of red is given to it by the use of yellow or maize in dress.

A Yellow bonnet is favorable to this type; but, as it approaches near to and surrounds the face, it should have a considerable proportion of its influence neutralized; this may be done by the introduction of violet, purple, or deep blue flowers, kept away from contact with the skin. These flowers must be used very sparingly.

Orange, although it may be said to suit Brunettes with more or less positive orange in their complexions, is too brilliant and gaudy to be used in dress, save in very small proportions.

Red, Scarlet, Bright Crimson, Magenta, and all brilliant colors of the like class, follow the same rule as orange, suiting some complexions containing red, which it is advantageous to neutralize, but being too bright for general costume.

A Scarlet headdress is particularly suitable to black hair, intensifying it by contrast, and by the addition of a purple hue.

Dark Red is favorable to complexions which have too much natural red, because, besides its tendency to neutralize the color of the skin, it reduces it by contrast.

Violet is unsuitable to the Florid brunette unless its injurious influence be destroyed by the addition of yellow. Very dark violet is not so objectionable as the positive color.

A Violet bonnet may be rendered very pleasing by being trimmed with a quantity of pale yellow flowers, such as primroses. The flowers contrast with the violet of the bonnet, and accord well with the complexion.

Most medium-toned Neutrals, such as Brown, Slate, and Gray, are unfavorable -to this type; the very darkest shades of these colors, however, are suitable to some full-toned complexions. Silver Gray is also suitable to complexions with a moderate amount of color.

Black contrasts well with the complexion of the Florid brunette, although not so perfectly as with that of the previous type. It enhances the red by reducing the lighter tints of the skin; but it has no power to neutralize any objectionable color that may exist.

A Black bonnet, although not so suitable to the Brunette as to the Blonde, is, nevertheless, agreeable in its effect. It may be ornamented with white, red, orange, or yellow trimmings.

White is more favorable to the Florid brunette than black, and accords well with all complexions. A white dress may be ornamented to advantage with scarlet, orange, or yellow.

A White bonnet, which is highly suitable to this type, should have trimmings of red, orange, or yellow; red or orange is to be preferred, yellow and white having a weak effect by daylight.

color in dress, published 1872, p. 26-31

the marine jacket

Dress and jacket of dark poplin, trimmed with black and red braid. The jacket has a wide turned-down collar, scalloped at the edge. The jacket is fastened at top and opens towards the bottom; it is close-fitting behind and over the hips, and behind falls a short skirt scalloped at the edge and ornamented with braid. The sleeve, open at the end, is scalloped and trimmed in the same manner. The skirt has four rows of braiding, with the scallops turned downwards in two of them, and upwards in the others. A black silk sash, with numerous black and red loops. A chemisette puffed at the waist. Undersleeves puffed and tight at the wrist.

godey’s lady’s book, 1862, p. 20

Fancy apron of black silk, ornamented with a puffing of silk and rows of velvet.

godey’s lady’s book, 1862, p. 78