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l Jdr Growing Indications That jfif 3 ; n
, America' 's Women Will Prefer v On the right, Paul ' "V I I f o Put On Pawfe Rather L f ' BMEMBER, in your childhood, when you played with your ark, what difficulty you had in telling Mr. from Mrs. Noah? With their broad j brimmed, round hats and the long robes which stretched right down to their stands, tho gentleman and the lady who anticipated had weather and let the ani mals walk in two by two were hard to differentiate, unless, a6 in some sets Noah was the larger and sported a beard. Well, nowadays or at least pretty soon it appears that the poor little chil dren are going to have that same trouble about all ladies and gentlemen, ark or no ark. It is not going to be so because everybody will take to wear ing the long robes of Biblical days, but because the ladies are going in for that hitherto almost exclusive masculine gar ment, trousers. Nothing can be told from hair. Soon it universally may be worn short or bobbed. Whether a person smokes or not will mean nothing. Faces? Well, perhaps; but one must admit, if one may venture to without being too ungallant, j that one sees some fairly hard phizzos among the fair sex. Hats? There's hope there, but not a great deal. The only plan that suggests Itself at present is for the child to approach a betrousered individual SI in the case of the old game of Forfeits, and inquire politely, "Fine 01 superfine" You only have to look about you to Ijfl notice the prevalence of feminine trou- sers and knickers. It was not so long ago that it was as rare to see a woman in pants as it was to observe one in a tobacco shop. Now we note them very Ijfl much in both. The very tradition that trousers are a part of masculine attire is threatened. Perhaps in the dim and distant future, when archaeologists are excavating on the site of the city of New York, they will come upon a strange graven figure with faint, undecipherable inscriptions. IjB A learned member of the band of archaeologists will exclaim: "Aha! This represents an ancient personage by which this forgotten city was per Bonified " H "What was it called?" they will ask the great scientist and she will reply "Mother Knickerbocker." There will be no gainsaying this? dic tum, for by that time the feminist move ment will have been too thoroughly es tablished even to be contradicted. Some mere men will know very well that it was Fathrr Knickerbocker, but should they venture to Sfiy y0 they would be re I f erred to da fa on the costume of the I time. They would be shown pictures, yellowed with age. and as1;ed . "Who was wearing the knickers then, if it wasn't we women ?" Regard the evidence at the horse shows and the riding parks. For every riding habit a lady used to drape over the entire near side of her steed there are now five pain of riding breeches 4 m m If j ; j! . j without any more material being used. Booted and panted, the ladies stride swmgingly to their nags, instead of stumbling along in a costume that was a cross be tween the ample robes of Queen Elizabeth and Chief Jus tice Taft Debs who donned rid ing breeches have been winning in shows over the more conventional wearers of the riding habit, the skirts of which are so apt to hamper a ' woman if she is thrown . from her horse. It has fC been sani of th.F- u.,nioi. who wore the latter that they did not do so out of preference, but out of deference to public opin ion and possible old-fash- . .' loned leanings in the judges. '( American designers and fashion experts are proclaiming ' from the house tops: "Knickerbockers for the girls are here to stay. For the country? Sure; and for the city, too For all the time. They're already on Fifth Avenue, and you're going to see more and more of them." Long knickers, short knickers, knickers of gayly colored tweeds. Baggy knickers, tight knickers, knickers of linen and knickers with tassels. And all of these are the attire of the ladies whose entrances used to bo heralded by the swish of silk. Short skirls were heralded as estab lishing the "Freedom of the Knees." Speaking of knickers, you might go even further than that. With freedom has come something that is very like an American declaration of fashion independence If it is trea son, let the style dictators of Paris, to whose omnipotent sway we have so long been subservient, make the most of it When the mandate came from France that skirts must be short, American women obeyed without question. Nor were any great objections raised by American men. The ultimatum did not need the solid basis it possessed that of the war necessity of saving material. Paris had spokon. rkirts were bhortened and material was saved. There are peo ple who were of the opinion that some JPfe Miss Fannie Harley, who fJ i has been wear- ' ; ' ing trousers ' Jf J . for three years . and can see no reason what- ; ever why the , . : tion. cient and mighty maker N rule. American turn t women who trav- to tro eled abroad, de- Hov of our enthusiastic young ladies really saved more than their share. Be that as it may, the majority did not question patriotic motives. It was Pointed out that the short skirts were far better from the point of view of wur work, hygiene and sport or, should we say, sports? All was well. Then the war was finished and recon struction was begun. The Paris design ers took it into their head'- to reconstruct skirts. Skirts will be longer, they up and let the American women know And right there, as Mr. Briggs would say, was where they made their big mistake. The American women, who fiad rather cottoned to short skirts, asked why. As in the case of the Light Brigade, it had been with our women in the past "Theirs not to reason why." It was tho first faint sp:.rk of revolt. But it is hard to overthrow an an- r - -V ... V. ; clent and mighty rue. American women who trav- eled abroad, de termined to stand by tfieir guns and wear skirts as short as usual, were recipients of the merry ha-ha! from French ladies of the elite down to shop girls who had obeyed the dictate of the fashion monarch and had bought 'em longer or let out tho tucks, a? the case might be. Hell hath no fury like a woman who gets it into her head that her clothes are out of style. Fair American trav clers abroad were infuriated into long skirts. They returned to their native land thus attired. Score one for Paris! It was our move. One feels like sing ing "The Stnr-Spangled Banner" when one thinks how gloriously we made it. Our girls, far from slipping longer skirts over their heads, slipped knick ers and other trousers over their well, they put 'em on in the customary man ner. 'Voila, Pari' Que faites-voiu main tenant?" we all might have cried tri- umpnantiy, it we afl could talk French like that. Now Paris was in a quandary. Our own Mr. Flo Zeigfeld had gone over there and exposed the long skirt idea. He said it was a matter of legs, and that is a department in which he speaks with authority, for he runs tho "Follies," a show of quite a lot of chorus girls in New York. Legs are an important business detail to Mr. , " i ' f 3 1 i , who -poke th.i 3?M "When tho short skirt lm came into vogue the tradi liff tional but somewhat elderly "iffiftWK beauties of Paris were at a ,M$ great disadvantage because, 'z ymflffijj while cosmetic science per- M mitted them to retain their f youthful faces, their lower limbs resisted treatment. "These famous beauties were the biggest customers of the dressmakers. When they saw the men turning to younger girls solely on account of their shapely calves they handed an ultimatum to the style makers that they must either bring pJM back the long skirts or loso "Fearing a loss of business, the dressmakers obeyed . j I I "This explains why Ameri- HHv can girls insiBt on retaining tho short skirt. Nine out of ten American girls possess beauti ful legs." When it comes to show j ing pride in possessions, , a short skirt has nothing on trousers. , The reply of Paris was a vir- jew tual surrender. 'Jr They took the jj only possible ac- 0 tion. The style makers began to turn their talent JM to trousers. How well they have succeeded may be seen by the large picture at the top of this page, which shows a conception of trousers by Paul Poiret, the noted Parisian designer Observe that M. Poiret has not sacri ficed feminine daintiness. Veil and long gloves are not denied, and even tho suspenders are made decorative. Notice how this costume contrasts with the severity of that of the next figure. Dr. Mary Walker, one of our trousers-for-women pioneers. Another pioneer, Miss Fannie Harley (getting her shoes shined), is an illus tration of feminine trousers for street wear. Dr. Walker and Miss Harley were ahead of their time in their trouser wearing. But that time now appears to be here. The girls are up and in 'em. "I don't like knickers." said Lady Agfcor recently, "because women aren't built for them." But how can her ladyship hold such V I -i?&Mi- an opinion as that in face of th ing appearance thousands oi trousers-wearers are makinf one looks?