A Correct Costume Enhances the Wearer: The Hairdress Shapes the Face

a correct costume enhances the wearer

I just found the most wonderful vintage book on how to dress for your figure.
A Correct Costume Enhances the Wearer: Color and Line in Dress
by Laurine Hempstead
with Sketches and Color Samples
Copyright 1931

It starts with the face and discusses things like coloring, jewelry, and hair. It moves to the body offering tips for problems such as large hips and round shoulders. It then goes through ages from children, to “the miss in her ‘teens”, through to elderly women.

I’m so in love with this book and I think it’s so wonderful that I’ll be sharing excerpts. The book has the most delightful vintage feel to it, beautiful illustrations, and genuinely good advice. I hope you love it as much as I do!

It begins:

Part I: Faces

Any woman can approach beauty through manipulation of line and color to her advantage. A correct and becoming costume is not only pleasing in itself, but enhances the attractiveness of the wearer…The face, as the key to the personality of the individual should be the center of interest in the picture created by the costume and the wearer. The costume should be planned to accent the face…

The most pleasing faces have an oval outline. It should be the aim of every woman not naturally blessed with a face of oval proportions to frame her face in outlines that make it simulate oval contours…It is obvious that such information is useless to a woman who has not definitely determined in what respects her own face varies form the ideal oval. Taking stock of one’s liabilities as well as one’s assets is the first step toward becoming as attractive as one wishes to be.

1931 hairstyles for face

Chapter I: The Hairdress Shapes the Face

To the woman whose face has the perfect contours of the ideal oval, the arrangement of her hair is a pleasure and not a major problem. She may dress it to suit her mood or her gown, serene in the knowledge that her coiffure will never detract from her facial charm. But to her whose imperfect facial proportions can approach beauty only through clever grooming, the one most effective hairdress may well be the first quest and the crowning triumph.

vintage 1930s hairstyles

Go to the next excerpt –Earrings and Necklaces Change Apparent Contours of Face