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Good Taste in Dress Designing

Nov 26, 2007
Good taste in general design may be instinctive but good taste in dress is not necessarily inherent - however, it can be developed. Principles of good taste in dress change with the type of climate, social structure of a particular locality, geographical location, and era or time in history. Good taste in dress requires sensitivity to the times, to knowledge of fashion, and suitability not only to the individual but to the occasion as well.

Fashion represents the seasonal changes in silhouette, design, color, and material - it also represents the fads and fancies of the style setters and it could be termed as the timely use of an artifice intended to make the wearer more attractive.

Personal style or individuality in dress represents the use to which current fashion is put. It demonstrates the ability to be smartly dressed at all times, the ability to adapt the best of fashion's current dictates suitable for one's own figure and activities - spiced with a bit of daring - and yet in complete harmony with good taste.

How to Develop Good Taste

The criterion of good taste in dress is suitability plus beauty plus apparent simplicity of design. The ability to study, observe, and analyze are important to the development of good taste.

Study art. Go to the museums. Take a course in art appreciation. If possible go to an art school or subscribe to a correspondence course in art. Any of these will help develop keener insight and appreciation of color, line, and general composition in its relation to good design.

Study history and literature pertinent to dress and design. Learn about the effect history has had on fashions. Notice how the morals and customs of a particular society have affected their dress. Most libraries in the larger towns and cities have many excellent books on these subjects.

Observe. Make a habit of observing - of really seeing what people wear and what is currently in fashion. Subscribe to the better magazines and newspapers. Study the latest fashion magazines. Observe the people in public life and in the performing arts. Notice what the actresses wear as they appear in the theatre, movies, and on your television screen at home. A number of television shows have fashion forecasts as part of their regular programming - make it a point to see these.

Observe the general public at various places. Make a note of what is being worn at receptions, parties, meetings, concerts, the theatre - and in all walks of daily life. If at all possible, make a habit of going to the best places, the most fashionable restaurants, resorts, and wherever the public gathers. Go to as many fashion shows as are available to you.

Another good source for news of the latest fashions is in advertising - watch the trade advertisements in newspapers and magazines.

Analyze. As your circle of activities widens - learn to observe critically and make a habit of analyzing what you see.

Observe what makes one individual more attractive than another; analyze what part her clothes play in her apparent attractiveness and why one person seems to have more style than another even when both are dressed in the latest fashion. As you study each costume think of how you would improve it to better suit the wearer or the occasion.

Learn To Discriminate. Keep your eye on good design - don't fall for fashion fads for the sake of the fad alone unless it will do something for you - then by all means use it!

All style news is important but discrimination is the basis of good style.
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