Hundred-Year-Old Fashion Color Chart

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

color guide f

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was Grandma doing a hundred years ago today? I wonder if Grandma ever worried about fashion —and which colors were her best colors.

When I was young,Color Me Beautiful was very popular—and I worried about whether I was a Fall or a Summer.

A few days ago I was surprised to discover that the color concept has been around for a long time, and that there were color charts a hundred years ago.

According to an article in the November, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Choosing the most becoming colors is often a difficult task, and while no hard and fast rules can be given for such a selection there are some suggestions which will help to find the right ones. Each woman can find her type, and then take the suggested colors and try them for herself. Do not forget that your personal preference in this matter cannot be taken into consideration for more often than not your favorite color is not a becoming one.

Each season brings a new and fashionable color, and please let me warn you that it will detract from your appearance if you select it for this reason. Make sure that it is becoming first, keeping in mind that good taste, not money, makes the well-dressed woman.

Color guide g1

Color guide h1

Color guide i1

Color guide j1

Color guide k1

19 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old Fashion Color Chart

  1. “Do not forget that your personal preference in this matter cannot be taken into consideration for more often than not your favorite color is not a becoming one.”
    Another example that we can’t believe everything we read: I recall reading, years ago, that we are naturally drawn to the colors that are complimentary to us!!
    And, I can say with confidence that, sadly, in my dear mother’s world, fashion wasn’t a top priority!

    1. My personal philosophy is that I feel more confident when I’m wearing a color I like–and that I look better regardless of what a color chart may say. 🙂

  2. Your comment about whether you were a Fall or a Summer reminded me when I “had my colors done” with my mother ( in the early 80’s?). I am a Summer. (My mother is a Fall.) I still have the little leather packet I got with color swatches and other fashion suggestions.

    1. I think that I got my colors done twice back in the 80s. It was a popular activity at the young mothers’ organizations that I belonged to at the time. What fun!

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