Selecting Hat Shapes and MaterialsThe 'Simple instructions for Home Millinery' series of lessons is not intended to represent a thorough course of instruction in millinery, but in the simplest way to give the necessary directions for the use of women who must do their own and children's millinery, and are not in a position to see or hear much of the world of fashion.
Every woman rightly has the desire to look her best; to be at least as well dressed as her neighbors when they meet at church or socials, and she naturally takes as great a pride in the appearance of her children.
Materials are not so expensive, it is the work that costs, and the clever mother can make her own hat and two for her little daughters for what one would cost if bought in town.
The first thing to consider is a becoming shape. No matter how pretty or costly a hat or bonnet may be, it is money wasted unless it is becoming. A becoming hat brings out the best points of the face, and lessens the effect or prominence of defects; a hat that is not becoming does just the opposite. There are a few rules to guide one, but often an unusual face sets all rules at defiance, and so one really cannot tell except by trying on and experimenting with various shapes. Everything we wear should balance our proportions. A face that is very round and full at the lower half must wear a hat that gives prominence to the upper part; but a woman with a large forehead and thin face should wear narrow hats that come rather over the forehead. A round face looks well in a wide brim; if short, a high crown is best; but a tall girl should select a low crown. A girl with fluffy hair can wear a hat that turns away from the head, but hair dressed close to the head should have the hat fitting well over it at the sides. The hat must always look as if it was a part of the wearer, not as if it had dropped on that head by mistake. A little study will soon teach any woman what is best suited to herself; and the opinion of others is not to be despised.
Remember that the way you dress your hair has very much to do with the becomingness of your hat; if you have a very full forehead, let the hair come a little over the brow, it will soften the entire face; but if the brow is low, draw the hair away from it in a full, easy puff; in no case hide the eyebrows; these give much expression to the eyes, and the eyes are the life of the face.
The hair dressed low at the back is not becoming to many except quite young girls, and requires hats with brims that droop down at the back. A protruding knot on the middle of the head at the back is ugly, and no hat can look well over it. A woman's hair is her chief ornament, and should receive proper care and study; every woman can have nicely kept and prettily arranged locks, and the simplest, cheapest hats will look well on such a head.