Monday 22 February 2010

Getting it right

In my collection of books on modern manners
I have one called  Etiquette for Everyone
by Arthur Groom, published 1946.
I have often wondered about the original purchasers
and what it was they were hoping to find guidance about.
This one offers clues by way of pencil underlinings
and it seems that correct modes of dress 
were of the most pressing concern.

When in the country a woman should endeavour to wear tweeds as much as possible. Above all, the woman in the country should try to steer clear of the temptation to 'startle the natives'. 
If she dons her fox furs, her saucy hat with the cheeky veil, 
her high heeled shoes, her sheerest silk stockings, and that ultra smart afternoon frock she bought in town, then she must not be hurt or surprised if the country folk turn to look at her - and to laugh!



At the sea it is in the worst possible taste for a girl to wear very abbreviated shorts except when on the beach itself. The best plan is to have a button-on linen skirt she can put on quickly for walking along the front, on the pier, or for shopping trips into town. For bathing- well I don't care WHAT the designers of so-called
 bathing costumes for women turn out,
 there is nothing nicer, neater or 
more suitable for swimming than the ordinary, 
regulation woollen swim-suit as worn by 
professional and good amateur swimmers.



So, so wrong.


  1. isn't it a comfort that some things do change ... maybe sometimes too far the other way

  2. Really enjoy the juxtapositions you come up with. How about all the high tech, skin tight, colourful Olympian outfits these days?

  3. Wonderful, these advice manuals! You'd think people didn't care any more about 'getting things right', but they do....

    One of my own posts (This Fork Is For What?), despite being rather silly, has an illustration showing the correct use of cutlery, and it's forever being read by unlikely people from all over the globe worried about table settings!

    Thank you for your comment, BTW - I'm so glad it led me to you; I have laughed tears already after just skimming some of your posts. I shall be back!!

  4. I suppose if you have an afternoon dress, presumably you have a morning dress as well?

  5. Lovely, funny and interesting post! I love the etiquette (I was amused when I learnt this meant label) items.

    The linen skirt to button over abbreviated shorts sounds like a garment a good many young women need today. The woollen swimsuit - sounds prickly to me!

    Morning dress, afternoon dress and - of course - evening dress, sounds like someone who doesn't do their own washing and ironing!!!!