Dressing for the Occasion

What is considerd appropriate for each occasion differs slightly from culture to culture. These directions are from a German book, 1908. ("Ich kann schneidern", see sources page.)

Occasion Dress Hat Gloves Shoes Jewellery Other
1. routine outings (morning) ankle-length tailor suit with shirt-blouse simple hat matching linen, cotton, chamois or glacé gloves black or brown laced or buttoned boots unobtrusive brooche, belt clasp, cufflinks, in case of short sleeves link bracelet white collar and jabot, ribbon or leather belt, fur or feather boa, simple parasol or umbrella
2. afternoon walks, visits, déjeuners
as above, only more elegant blouse decorated hat linen, cotton or glacé gloves as above as above fur or feather boa, leather bag, leather belt, parasol or umbrella
jacket suit with long skirt and elegant silk blouse or trimmed dress; fur jacket in winter decorated hat with elegant veil glacé gloves in matching fair colours; in winter dogskin or kangaroo leather gloves high black chevreaux boots with patent leather trim, in summer fair coloured chevreaux or patent leather shoes a bit of coloured jewelry, also diamond brooch, bracelets, châtelaine as above, possibly silk pompadour, silver or gold metal bag, elegant parasol or umbrella
3. openings, anniversaries, morning receptions, gratulation visits, civil marriage, first visit
suit with long skirt or silk dress decorated hat with veil fair glacé gloves see 2./simple gold brooch, bracelet fur or feather boa
elegant suit with long skirt, wool or silk dress with train, elegant coat or jacket large decorated hat, preferably with feathers fair glacé gloves see 2./elegant; while or fair grey with white dresses coloured or diamonds, but not too much elegant fur or feather boa and parsol or umbrella, bead or metal pompadour or bag
Occasion Dress Hat Gloves Shoes Jewellery Other
4. church
plain, simple suit of medium or dark colour simple decorated hat glacé gloves black or brown simple brooch, possibly bracelet fur or feather boa, leather bag or dark silk pompadour, good parasol or umbrella
dark, simple silk toilette with elegant black coat simple decorated hat with veil matching glacé or suede* gloves see 2. as above as above
5. ordinary theatre performance, elite concert loge:
high-necked evening dress
pit & circles:
elegant visiting or evening dress, evening coat
silk blouse and fair skirt
evening hat, modern hairdo with ornaments matching, fair suede gloves high patent leather boots or shoes with open stockings, black, beige or white not too much chiffon or lace shawl or fur stole, fan, pompadour, single flowers for breast, headscarf
6. theâre paré and gala performance loge & pit:
low-necked soirée toilette (velvet, silk, tulle, wool), theatre or evening coat
large decorative evening hairdo with flower, bow or heron arrangement
older ladies: lace bonnet with feathers
long white or fair gloves elegant soirée shoes in black, white, bronze, solver or gold, possibly fair grey or beige, with elegant silk stockings gorgeous display allowed, medals real lace, fan, artificial flowers, elegant pompadour, fur or feather stole or lace shawl or theatre bonnet
7. concert medium coloured street or visiting dress, possibly with train and evening blouse loge:
see 5.
soirée hairdo
fair, white or black suede black chevreaux   small fan, pompadour, headscarf, boa
Occasion Dress Hat Gloves Shoes Jewellery Other
9. church concert dark silk, lace or visiting toilette, long, elegant, dark coat see 3. dark, black suede patent leather or chevreaux no diamonds. pearls, jet, amethysts, dull and few gold fur or feather boa, tortoise-shell or feather fan, dark pompadour
10. grand diners, balls, marriages low-necked party dress with flower trim, fair evening coat flowers or feathers, diadems with or without flowers, large decorative hairdo fair or white see 6., very elegant very rich (necklaces, bracelets, pendant, diadem), medals real lace, headscarf or bonnet, lace shawl, sortie de bal or fur collar (also feather stole), elegant lace fan with spangles, lace handkerchief, flowers, very elegant underclothes
11. small parties high-necked evening dress, evening coat fresh flowers;
older ladies: lece coiffure
white or fair, matching the dress see 6., but no silver or gold not too much, antique or coloured fan, headscarf, pompadour, boa
14. visit of condolence black or dark dress or suit simple dark hat dark or black suede black lacing or buttoned boots or shoes only the most essential simple parasol, dark boa, leather bag or dark pompadour
15. application visit dark, correct street suit, see 2., coat, closed jacket see 2. see 2., medium colour see 2. only the most essential simple parasol, boa, leather bag or pompadour
16. office dress see 1., or simple, ankle-length dress see 1. see 1. see 1. see 1. see 1.
17. sport very correct, exactly as prescribed (see chapter about sport dress) as prescribed as prescribed as prescribed only the most essential everything fashionable is to be avoided
Occasion Dress Hat Gloves Shoes Jewellery Other
18. travel see 1., with travel coat cap or English hat with veil linen, cotton, wash-leather or dark glacé brown or black only the most essential parasol/umbrella, plaid, handbag
19. receiving a visit at home
skirt and blouse (no apron) or simple house dress ordinary hairdo none low shoes small, delicate (souvenirs etc)  
teagown or elegant reformed or empire dress with train   for older ladies possible lace gloves see 6. exotic, antique or modern Art Nouveau jewelry lace shawl, pompadour
20. race toilette
fair weather
very elegant summer dress with train of silk, organdy or lace, long elegant silk or wool coat large, elegant feather hat with veil matching, fair glacé or suede shoes with open silk stockings, preferably in the colour of the dress peras and some diamonds elegant fur or feather boa, lorgnette or small binoculars, elegant bag or pompadour, fresh flowers, elegant parasol
bad weather
see 3., with long coat see 3. see 3. see above see above see above
21. casino, dinners in elegant restaurants low-necked toilette or like 20. see 20., without veil see 20. see 20.   see 20., with elegant jupons, minus parasol and binoculars,

*) I'm not sure "suede" is the correct translation. The original says "Schweden", which translates as Swedes, so I surmised it meant suede. The term "Schweden" is not used in modern German.


More "dress ethics" or "dress codes", for men in 1908, 1909 ans 1910 can be found at the Costumer's Manifesto.



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