This is the second article in April of the School for Housewives 1903 series published on Apr 12, 1903, and is a short article on the innovative new skirt that will not blow up in the wind.
School for Housewives – The New Windy Day Skirt
Only a day or two ‘fore Christmas,
A Bower-looking chap
Came rushin’ in the store
And bawled out: “Say, pap,
Gimme a suit that’ll stand a hug,
A squeeze, a yank an’ a twist,
An’ gee! If y’ don’t git a wiggle on
I’ll hand y’ out a fist.”
Lay on the Bowery Dance.
When Miss Elizabeth White, the clever business-woman-dressmaker, who has undertaken to drive the Parisian dressmakers from the American field, devised her “Windy day skirt,” an article of dress that will withstand all the winter winters that ever blew, she must have been thinking of the lay of the last Bowery dancer.
At the meeting of the Dressmakers’ Association recently she gave to the public a creation built to stand windy weather and one that will look just like the ordinary skirt and present no more inconveniences than the everyday garment.
She brought out into view a pearl gray skirt and hung it on a wire figure. It was a modish enough skirt of silk made for a wearer with a good figure. She styled it the “drop skirt” – a sort of latter-day term for an underskirt. It looked pretty enough, the women audience thought, to be worn outside, if necessary.
The skirt is best described in Miss White’s own words:
“The ‘drop skirt,’” she sad, “looks just like any other skirt. I had often thought that if I could invent some sort of a rock that would stand the wind and still keep its shape and keep close to the ground, one of the greatest blessings would be handed down to womankind. One day I thought of haircloth lining, and on this principle the ‘drop skirt’ is built.”
“There is no difference, practically, between my new skirt and what women have been wearing for thousands of years. This skirt has the usual soft and clinging effect at the bottom. You’d never suspect that it has a haircloth flounce? Well, it has, and that’s its beauty for a windy day.”
“I have named it the ‘Lily skirt,’ for it has the lily effect – a lily held upside down, you know. Just see how prettily it sweeps away.”
“There’s another name for the skirt, and that’s the ‘wind skirt.’ You see we are going to wear such thin stuffs this spring and summer that we’ll need a foundation skirt.”
“You’ll see that it has style and effect, and I can lend its good qualities to the other skirt. Now I’ll tell you how to build the ‘windy skirt.’”
“If made of taffeta silk it will require from 10 to 12 inches yards, 20 inches wide. If only the flounce is taffeta and the upper part of percaline, farmer satin or any lightweight material, it will require 5 1/2 yards of taffeta silk for flounce and about 4 ½ yards for the upper part, and from 2 ½ to 2 ¼ yards of haircloth 24 inches wide. The wind skirt can be built as economically as you desire in any material. The flounce is cut about eight inches wide, having a facing of haircloth equally as wide, with the hair in the haircloth running around the skirt, not up and down. Be sure to shrink the haircloth before using. When the flounce is finished, two small ruffles are added to it, one 5 ½ inches wide and the other about 2 ½ inches wide. These two small flounces are ornamented with narrow plaited ruches or ribbon. To protect the lower flounce we found it necessary to blind it with velvet braid, which can be quickly attached by one sewing only, and affords an elegant finish and perfect protection.”
“The wind skirt can be made as a solid lined skirt of wool or silk, or as a petticoat or slip skirt. As you walk, you see that you kick against the ruffles, which give away with pretty effect.”
“When you’ve had haircloth in your skirts before, you remember, you broke the haircloth by walking against it. In the new wind skirt the haircloth is too high to be kicked, and just high enough to hold the skirt in its place.”
“When the wind blows against the skirt the haircloth holds the cloth firm and the wind sheers off as it would off any taut surface. Your skirts cannot cling to your legs.”
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This Summer’s Dresses Will Sweep the Ground Again