April 9, 1918

WOMEN IN WAR WORK

Why have bright colors been specified in the standardization of layettes for French infants by the American Red Cross? This is the purport of many inquiries reaching national headquarters from women workers who seem to feel that the selection of pale pink or blue material for these layettes is impractical, and that the Red Cross should have specified gray or tan.

Miss Elizabeth S. Hoyt, assistant to the general manager of the Red Cross, who made a visit to France for the express purpose of determining essential facts pertaining to the standardization of garments designed for Red Cross relief, gives an explanation of the situation that ought to satisfy all who are interested in the work. As explained by Miss Hoyt, the idea of doing the most practical thing has been the real determining factor.

The standardization of the layette was decided after consultation with a large number of persons who are working among the women and children of France. It was developed that the layette offered almost the only opportunity for the use of colored materials. Neither the women nor the children of France will wear bright colored clothes, but all of the refugee women take great pride in dressing their babies as gaily and daintily as possible.

There is, moreover, a psychological factor. It was felt that the women would take more pride in keeping their babies clothes clean and fresh if they were not made of dingy, dreary colors. Many of the women to whom the layettes are given have undergone great suffering and privation, and the mere sight of pretty, cheerful clothes for their babies often has a very marked effect on their mental recuperation.

Inasmuch as the layettes afford the sold opportunity to make colored garments for the refugees, it appears that the only reasonable thing to do is to accede to the wishes of those for whom relied is being administered.

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