Advice for mothers from The Book of Good Housekeeping, given to my mother as a girl in 1957. Now you know where they got their wacky costume ideas from:

"By the time boys and girls are fifteen or sixteen, they will take an interest in their clothes, and may be able to make use of a modest dress-allowance. They will still need help in choosing their clothes, and if your attitude is friendly and appreciative, they will enjoy talking round the subject to some length.
Both equally need to budget their expenditure on clothes, but since the girl will have a wider choice of colour and design, she will have more to learn about dressing herself aptly and attractively. If she is going to avoid 'bad buys' and the experience of having 'nothing to wear', she should choose a basic colour which suits her type, and then build up her wardrobe around it in colours which mix and blend. Thus if she decides on a pretty light grey as her basis, the fair-haired girl can achieve variety with white, yellow and blue, while her dark-haired sister can afford to wear warm tan, flame, or deep green.
If the teenager is provided with a reasonable stock of clothes when she has her first dress allowance, she can make gradual replacements in her wardrobe and save a certain amount towards major items, such as a winter coat, which may last for three years. A workable idea is to give her the money in two instalments, in February for spring and summer clothes, and in September for winter clothes."

Outfits for a Girl of 15-18

Spring and Summer. Assuming that her wardrobe already consists of a summer coat, a party frock, a skirt, 2 blouses, 2 dresses, raincoat or wind-cheater, a dressing-gown, 2 sets of underwear, 2 pairs shoes, 2 pairs stockings, a girl might buy:

1 cotton skirt
1 nylon or silk blouse
1 cardigan
1 handbag
1 waist slip
2 pairs briefs or 1 pair briefs, 1 brassière
1 pair casual shoes

Autumn and Winter. With a present stock of an overcoat, a suit, a woollen dress, a skirt, a twin set, a cardigan, 3 sets of winter underwear, 1 pair boots, 1 pair walking shoes, a winter dressing-gown and 2 pairs pyjamas, she could buy:

1 heavy sweater
1 wool cardigan
Tweed skirt
1 or 2 pairs stockings
House slippers

Boy's Outfit. There is less seasonal change in a boy's outfit. Assuming he has a suit, a pair of worsted trousers, a sports jacket, 3 shirts, 1 long-sleeved pullover, 2 pairs pyjamas, 3 pairs socks, 2 pairs shoes, a raincoat and a dressing-gown, he might buy:

1 pair worsted trousers
1 sweater
1 sleeveless pullover
1 coloured cotton shirt
2 pairs vests and briefs
1 pair nylon socks
1 tie
1 pair gloves
1 pair shoes.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.