IT seems hardly necessary to comment upon the need of presenting a pleasing personal appearance. One takes this naturally for granted in our day. Yet I meet many whose failure has been hastened by neglect of dress, hair, hands, and powder-puff. A woman insurance agent in New York who is said to do the largest business of her kind of anyone of her sex in this country said that she owed her success to her powder- puff. She was using a figure of speech but we get the mental picture of a well-dressed, well-poised woman, unhurried, composed, unperspiring, and with the confidence that she is presenting an appearance of competence and success.
I knew a school principal who was slated for advancement to a very high post—until the trustees saw his feet! As far as I know, this man, with great learning, is still teaching a country high school because he does not know the value of personal appearance in the matter of shoestrings.
From the standpoint of sentiment, we can talk loudly of democracy and the license of genius. Practically we find the employer of labor and the patron of art alike
making fatal appraisal of frayed coat sleeves, soiled nails, and bearded faces—male or female.
In the professional classes conducted by the author, it is a requirement that all students present themselves at the class dressed as well as they possibly can be for the occasion.
They must learn to acquire ease in the presence of others and this is impossible if one is unexpectedly singled out to say a few words from the platform, and finds himself conscious of his personal appearance.
The real art of dress for men consists in being clothed appropriately for the occasion and so that one’s clothes are “taken for granted.” No one would attempt to define the art for women.