With the last of the summer’s Jazz Age Lawn parties on Governors Island this weekend, WWD takes its own trip back to the Twenties. In 1928, the paper ran a series of fashion tips, advising retailers on how to dress — and, therefore, sell to — their customers. “The Selling Points of Apparel and Costume Accessories,” as the section was called, matched hairstyles and hats to face shapes, detailed the effects of different necklines and even suggested which silhouettes were best for improving “round shoulders, due either to structural deformity or to poor posture.” Here, a sampling of those retro recommendations.
On bangs: “Hair worn low over the forehead tends to increase the size and brilliance of the eyes, and is therefore sometimes becoming even to the fairly broad face.”
On turbans: “A straight turban with a straight line across the forehead…decreases the length of the face. It increases the width in a manner which may be even more apparent than in the case of a straight brim, for the turban fails to give the large background which may reduce the size of the face.”
On earrings: “Earrings, all earrings, are decidedly unbecoming to large numbers of women, some of whom persistently lessen their attractiveness by wearing them.…The face which may seem a pleasing oval in the absence of earrings, may seem round or even square, when they are worn.”
On neckwear: “The woman who is too thin may make both her face and her figure appear fuller if she doubles or triples a long slender necklace.”
On necklines: “The neckline which is cut lower, permitting larger amounts of flesh to show, tends to make the face appear smaller in contrast to the amount of throat exposed.”
On poor posture: “Long well-fitted capes, particularly those with long pointed, or slender oval lines, may conceal the defective shape of the figure. They may therefore be actively becoming, rather than unbecoming as are the circular capes. Some capes have lines so graceful that they almost entirely conceal the defects of even the hunched back.”