Saving only for the children's world, Christmas Day, I fear, is usually more of an ordeal than a pleasure; and by no means the least tantalising aspect is the modistic one. The sumptuous lunch, with its traditional accompaniment of plum pudding, one may safely surmise, is followed by the equally traditional Christmas tree, and having personally participated in the convention for several years, I am venturing a suggestion for a gown that can be worn for the said lunch and serve with equal elegance for the later dinner. It is, I am sure, superfluous to retail the numerous contingencies that give the raison d'etre to an adjustable confection of this description, so we will straightway discuss the fabricating possibilities of the dainty toilette pictured by Mrs Dorothy Millar. That this is a picture-gown is clearly evident, but one, at the same time, conforming to all modern requirements. Vieux rose chiffon velvet suggests itself pleasantly, or chiffon velveteen, the skirt laid in flat folds at the waist and surmounted by a quaint, close-fitting Stuart tabbed bodice, cut decollete below a chemisette of ivory drawn Chantilly net.
For the lunch and subsequent Christmas tree party there stands the gown. But for dinner, there shall be worked a metamorphosis, a hint whereof is afforded by the figure in the background, where the chemisette has been deleted and the simplicity of outline broken by berthe of lace, that can be adjusted securely, in the space of a few minutes with half a dozen infinitesimal safety-pins. To form the square, the folds of the bodice, which are allowed to spread for the better display of the chemisette, are drawn together, the firm, invisible foundation whereon the berthe is mounted, holding all taut and firm.
For further information on 1900s clothing, please see our article FASHION IN THE EDWARDIAN ERA PART I: 1900-1909 The Last Age of Elegance.
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