Readings for Rural Life

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY

April 16th, 1864

High Dresses

We are thankful for at least one of the dame Fashion’s freaks: she has turned her back upon low-necked dresses, and rather insists that collar-bones and shoulder-blades shall be covered. It is certainly a great improvement – not only because the study of anatomy in private parlors is not desirable, and that American damsels are apt to run to bone as some tall flowers do to seed., and because spinsters of uncertain age, fearful of being outdone by the nieces, presented such vast expanse of yellow neck and shoulder to the view at evening parties as were calculated to alarm nervous people seriously; but because since custom obliges us to wear garments, there can certainly be no reason why we should leave the most delicate portion of our frame without protection. Plumb shoulders and arms are pretty. But so (let us whisper) are plump legs. The mother who should fail to provide her daughter with stockings would be considered a cruel wretch, yet a year ago she might neglect to cover her chest and arms with impunity. We trust this state of things is over. We hope that the wisdom which causes every prudent parent to protect the pretty shoulders of her little girls with comfortable woolen sacques or capes will be appreciated; that sense will conquer vanity, and that in a little while it will be as absurd to say a woman in a low-necked dress as it would to-day to see a man in low-necked coat. – Sunday Times.


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