The latest in a series of excerpts from “A Correct Costume Enhances the Wearer: Color and Line in Dress” by Laurine Hempstead, copyright 1931 – a delightful book on dressing to complement your figure with vintage tips that hold true today.
In this section, the author gives suggestions for problem features. She gives pretty brutally honest descriptions of facial “imperfections,” but at least I now know what sort of hat to wear to hide my big nose and embarrassing glasses!
Chapter IV: The Hat is the Background for the Face (continued)
Turned-up nose. – Hats that have an upward sweeping line at the front unduly emphasize the upward curving line of the nose that is politely termed retroussé. A curving brim that appears to repeat exactly the profile line of the nose may give a truly ridiculous effect. A soft brim, one that droops rather than curves downward, shadows the face and conceals the curve of the upturned nose.
Large nose. – The large, prominent nose is made more so by repetition of its shape in the lines of a hat. The tricorne, with a point at the front similar to that of the nose, makes that feature unduly conspicuous. Sometimes there appear to be three noses on the hat and one on the face, an effect not only unbecoming but ludicrous as well. The hat with a brim longer at the front than at the back, with trimming massed near the front, building out the forehead, gives balance to the large nose and makes it less conspicuous.
Receding chin. – Trimming masses at the front, building out the front of the head, or brims longer at the front, make the receding chin even more insignificant than is naturally the case. A hat of moderate size, worn low over the forehead, making the upper part of the face less important, tends to bring the too small lower part of the face into scale.
Protruding chin. – When the chin protrudes, the profile assumes a backward slanting line that becomes most unpleasing when accentuated by a hat that slopes back from the forehead. The protruding chin can be minimized by devices that build out the forehead, bringing the upper part of the face into scale with that of the lower.
Double chin. – Heavy bulges and folds, or numerous curves, repeat the drooping curves and lines of the double chin. The hat that curves down over the cheek and the one that is lower at the back repeat the line of the chin and by so doing call attention to a feature that every woman wishes to avoid emphasizing. The double chin is best concealed by a hat with a moderate brim, and by soft but not unduly curved or irregular lines in both brim and crown.
Brimmed hat shadows glasses concealing corners. – Glasses, particularly heavy rimmed spectacles, create an out-of-proportion feature, giving square corners of the face. A small hat, beyond which the square corners protrude, is decidedly unbecoming to any woman who must wear glasses on the street or at other times when hats are worn. A hat with a brim that extends at least slightly beyond the corner formed by the glasses shadows them and prevents disturbing reflections of light that make the lenses more conspicuous.
Want to read more?
Start at the beginning – The Hairdress Shapes the Face
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