From the Sartorial Gazette - June 1922


In fitting a walking skirt, first see that the waist is right for size, then that it hangs well all round - fronts, sides and back.  The main difficulty, with regard to skirts, is the manner in which they hang from waist to bottom.  In some cases, if the skirt has been cut by an up to date pattern, no matter what the style may be, unless being fitted on a lady of the correct carriage, it may swing away badly at the front and hang in rather peculiar ways at the back.


I have experienced this difficulty often, in the past, and have only avoided it by cutting all skirts direct, by a special system, out of the cloth itself.  The system itself should so alter in construction for all kinds of figures, whether high waisted in front, or extremely low, or for large hips and small waist in proportion, or large waist and small hips in proportion, that there should rarely be any difficulty with the hang of a skirt.   But such, I know, is not the usual method and, as this essay is to deal with fitting, we will leave the cutting severely alone.


 If the pattern you have cut the skirt by is a modern one, for a modern style of lady, and the customer that you are fitting is not standing in the approved modern attitude, then you may find that your skirt may need lifting as much as 1-1/2 inches at the waist, at back, to nothing at the fronts, or visa versa. 


But to do this in, say, an eleven gored skirt would make the seams run very funny, to say the least of it.  Therefore it would be found best to only life the waist half that quantity and to adjust the rest of the hang by taking in every seam on side of each gore.  


Having seen that the hang of the skirt is right, then see to the lengths and mark the skirt all round to the length desired.  



For the fitting of riding skirts, a saddle must be employed, to do it properly, if not, a dummy horse.  They cannot be fitted in any other way satisfactorily.  First see that the lady is seated comfortably in the saddle (that is the first thing(, that she has not dragged the skirt under her; if she has, ask her to rise in the stirrup and adjust it.  


Then see that it is in the right place over the knee and mark any superfluous material that may require clearing away in the lap, or mark areas where it is strained.  Having adjusted the upper part, next see that the lengths are right and the skirt hanging as it should do. 


For the undergarments, such as breeches or riding trousers, you can ask if they are comfortable and right size in waist, or better still, leave it to your lady assistant.  But sometimes the lady herself will tell you just what she wants altered.  Some, again, will boldly throw off the skirt, for you to see that the undergarments are all right.  You can but suit yourself to the circumstances.  I have measured ladies who have expressed a wish to be properly measured and have come dressed for that purpose, in their riding trousers.  But, in most cases, it is done by guess work, or rather to a scale of proportionate measurements.  Sometimes the lady's maid will fill out a measurement form specially prepared for this purpose.  But, in all cases, let any doubtful suggestions come from the lady and not from you. 


I am personally, a strong advocate for a lady assistant being employed who will assist the lady customer in changing and give the necessary suggestions about the need of correct underwear, such as corsets, character of underskirts, etc.  I find, also, in practice, that lady customers very much appreciate someone with whom they can "chatter by the yard" and then trust to being properly tailor fitted afterwards. 

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