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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Unsuitable for Romping Girls

The most healthful clothes for children are blouse and Princesse dresses. Where the former are used the skirt to which it is attached should be sewed to a sleeveless waist, thus hanging the weight from the shoulders, as in the case of the Princesse design.

Although the prevailing shirt waist and skirt fashion seems simple and practical, it is not one to be recommended for the young maids and misses who have adopted it so extensively. For either slender or stout girls it needs a snug belt to keep waist and skirt tidy, and that condition is only secured when decorous walking along city streets is their exercise. The freedom of country roads, where running and skipping are almost imperative to the youthful mind, or the wilder romp in woods and fields is quick destruction to the skirt and waist toilet. The one slips down, the other pulls up, and in proportion to the extent to which each yields to this natural inclination, in just that degree is discomfort allied to untidy appearance. All physical culturists deplore the girding of the waist at any time; in active youth is a positive cruelty.

Excerpted from the New York Times, July 14, 1895, page 21

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