Science of Dress

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THE SCIENCE OF DRESS IN THEORY AND PRACTICE.[edit]

BY
ADA S. BALLIN, LECTURER TO THE NATIONAL HEALTH SOCIETY, ETC. WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS.
London: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON, CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
1885.

[All rights reserved.]

CONTENTS.[edit]

CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTORY.

The importance of dress in relation to health—The ideal of beauty—Admired deformities—Fashion's follies—The development of the science of health —Health and beauty—The beauty of decay— Popular neglect of health—The care of self a duty —Custom—The instincts of the lower animals a better protection to their young than the reason of woman—Ignorant mothers—Parents' responsibility—The care of infancy I

CHAPTER II.
THE BODY IN HEALTH.
The chief functions of the body, and the organs engaged in performing them—The functions of the lungs—The circulation—The excretory organs— Lungs, kidneys, and skin—The structure of the skin—Perspiration—The perspiratory and sebaceous glands—Cleanliness—Soaps—Toilet powders—Care of the skin in relation to dress—The complexion in youth and age—Beautiful for ever 17
CHAPTER III.
HEAT.
Sensations of heat and cold—The theory of heat—Cold a relative term—Heat as a mode of motion—Radiation—Conduction—Good and bad conductors—Vital temperature—Oxygen as producing heat by chemical combination—Friction as a cause of heat—Heat and work—The development of heat by the contraction of muscles—Combustion in the body in relation to food—How and why we lose heat—Nature's protections against this loss—A popular fallacy—Clothes supplementary to the skin—Primitive dress 32


CHAPTER IV.
COLD, AND THE HARM IT DOES.
The action of cold on the human body—Insufficient nutrition—Danger from cold greatest in the case of infants—Diseases occasioned by cold—Infantile mortality—Mortality in Russia—Growth—Cold an enemy to growth—Normal growth-rate of children—Temperature of rooms—Ventilation— The sufferings of children from insufficient clothing—"Coddling" versus "Hardening"—The hardening theory a fallacy 46


CHAPTER V.
HOW TO DRESS INFANTS.
Evils of the fashionable layette—Swaddling—Bad old fashions—The binder—The sanitary binder— All sudden change dangerous—Too light clothing for infants—The liability of the infant nervous system to disturbance—Convulsions—The mortality therefrom—Convulsions caused by the

careless use of needles and pins—Faulty construction of baby clothes—Rational baby clothing—Night clothing—Position during sleep—The danger of adults overlying children—Cots and cradles—The impropriety of rocking infants to sleep 58


CHAPTER VI.
OUT-DOOR DRESS AND EXERCISE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.
Babies should not as a rule be carried—The reasons for this—How to carry a baby—The use of the perambulator—Out-door clothes for infants— Hoods—Furs for older children—Weather—Suitable times for exercise and meals—Out-door play—Sleeping out of doors—Liberty of action for the infant—Children should not be sat upright too early, nor urged to precocious walking—Learning to walk—The necessity of preventing the adoption of unnatural positions—The propriety of using the left hand equally with the right, and the reason for this 76


CHAPTER VII.
CLOTHING FOR OLDER CHILDREN.
Combinations—A new method of supporting children's clothes—Woollen dresses—Boys' clothes—Jersey and sailor suits—Little girls' dresses—Divided knickerbocker skirt—Pinafores—No stays for children—Children's shoes and boots—Choice of materials—Summary 96


CHAPTER VIII.
COLOUR OF MATERIALS FOR CLOTHING.
The natural colour of the wool, or white the healthiest—"Health will not be clothed in dirty raiment"— Popular views on cleanliness—Clean clothes—

Poisonous dyes—Red aniline dye—Red flannel—Misuse of aniline dyes—Poisoning by aniline dyes—Arsenical poisoning from dyes—Reinsch's test for arsenic—Lead-poisoning by dyes—The choice of colours so as to avoid injury by poisonous dyes—Experiments on the relative values of various colours for use in hot climates 110

CHAPTER IX.
GIRLS' CLOTHES.
Faults of the ordinary mode of dressing girls—Undue weight of clothing—Woollen materials afford the maximum of warmth with the minimum of weight—How to impede the loss of heat from our bodies—The body's atmosphere—Ventilating power of various clothing materials—Over-tight clothing— Woollen healthy wear for summer as well as winter—Skin irritation from woollen clothing as a rule transitory—Skin diseases brought about by the wearing of too thin clothing in summer—Woollen clothing not weakening unless the body is too warmly clad—The quantity and quality of clothing to be regulated according to the external temperature—Night clothing —Bedding and bedclothes—High-necked and long-sleeved combinations objected to as incompatible with the wearing of low-necked evening dresses—How to avoid this objection—Advice to débutantes—How to detect adulteration in woollen materials—How to wash woollen clothes—Medical opinions on the value of woollen underclothing 122


CHAPTER X.
THE USE AND ABUSE OF CORSETS.
Underclothing—The chemise, and why it should be abolished—Tight-lacing—Fashionable deformities

—Nature's warnings—The sensations as danger signals—Instances—Nature's adaptability to adverse circumstances—"Know thyself!"—Popular ignorance of physiology—Artificial and natural waists—The physiology of the thorax and abdomen—The viscera—The pathology of tight-lacing—A test for tight-lacing—How to train the body to do without stays—Tight-lacing abroad—Mohammedan opinions on the subject—Attempts to abolish tight-lacing—Abuse of surgical stays—The risk of injury by corsets diminished when growth is complete—Evils produced by ill-made stays—Rational stays for adults—A new and improved method of lacing stays 140

CHAPTER XI.
A NEW SYSTEM OF DRESS FOR WOMEN.

How to fasten the clothes when stays are not worn—Over-loose clothing—Proper distribution of the weight of clothing—Seasonable clothing—The bodice—The weight of skirts—Dual garments—The Lancet on divided skirts—Drawers and their adoption—Divided dresses at the Healtheries—The Rational Dress Society's patterns—Trimmings of dresses—Princess robes—How to fasten the dress skirt—Jerseys-How dresses should be fitted—A word about dressmakers 171

CHAPTER XII.
DRESS FOR OUT OF DOORS.

The throat and collars—Tailor-made jackets—What cloths to choose for them and for walking dresses— Furs—Bonnets—Artificial flowers—Some causes of baldness—Hats, and how they should be made—Veils—Gloves—Waterproofs—Water-repellent clothes 192

CHAPTER XIII.
SUITABLE DRESS FOR EXERCISE AND SPORTS.

Our girls' need of exercise—Gymnastics: their use and abuse—Exercise and excess—Body and mind—Games—Lawn-tennis—Cricket for girls—Riding-trousers, belts and hats—Tricycling—Its advantages—When to practise it—Lady tricyclists—Salutary influence of tricycling on women's dress—Tricycling costumes—General hints on dress for tricycling, and on boots and shoes for that purpose. 204

CHAPTER XIV.
THE FEET AND HOW TO CLOTHE THEM.

The evils produced by badly-shaped boots and shoes—A common cause of anaemia—Some remarks on the history of foot-clothing—Chinese foot mutilations—European foot mutilations—Anatomy and physiology of the feet—The pathology of ill-made boots—Proper construction of boots—Boots and bootmakers—Healthy boots—Children's boots—Infants' boots—How stockings should be shaped— Indoor and dancing shoes—The harm, done by pointed-toed patent leather shoes—Properly-shaped shoes—Winter boots—Corns and their cure—The ventilation of boots—Wet feet—Slippers 228

CHAPTER XV.
CONCLUSION.

Advice to women—Some of the causes of fashions—Imitation—Conservation—Trade influence—The crinoline—Revivals of past fashions—Trade morality—The canons of beauty—The value of health—The care of health a duty 257


This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.