Good reference books?

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by AtomicBlonde, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. AtomicBlonde

    AtomicBlonde One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Hi ladies,

    I asked about this in another thread, but I think it got overlooked. I'm wondering if I could be directed towards a good book or website that goes into detail about womens clothing from the 30's 40's and perhaps early 50's. I'd like to know more about fabrics, construction techniques, etc so that I can have a better eye when shopping for originals, and when I get better at sewing, I can do it properly. I mean, things get listed on ebay as "great 1940's dress," but how am I supposed to know it isnt from a later period unless I know what I'm looking at?
    Hoping for some guidance from many of the all knowing ladies here!!

    -Jess
     
  2. Irena

    Irena One of the Regulars

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    165
    Location:
    Oregon
  3. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    Messages:
    5,060
    Location:
    Sunny California
    My favorite publishing house is Schiffer Books. Here's a link to the books they have available for fashions.

    I especially reccomend the sears books and the Collectable Fashions of the Turbulent 1930's.

    And there's that new Vionnet book out with patterns in the book! Check it out on Amazon.
     
  4. AtomicBlonde

    AtomicBlonde One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Thanks Lauren, I knew you'd have something! I'm constantly impressed with your reproductions and all the stuff you seem to know!!!

    -Jess
     
  5. decodoll

    decodoll Practically Family

    Messages:
    816
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    I would also highly recommend the Vionnet book. A used copy was about $400 before they rereleased it last year, so get it now while you can! I was sorely tempted, but just couldn't part with my copy. The Schiffer books are also really wonderful. I have the early 40's one and one of these days will get the 30's and mid 40's ones....as well as the other 40 or 50 or so other books I want!! :D I'm a bit of a book addict. The Way We Wore by Marsha Hunt is a wonderful book.

    Also:

    Decades of Beauty by Kate Mulvey and Melissa Richards (more than just 40's but a good book)

    The New Look: The Dior Revolution by Nigel Cawthorne (sounds like it would be late 40's, but the whole first half of the book is about wartime fashions.

    Women's Wear of the 1930's With Complete Patterns
    by Ruth S. Countryman and Elizabeth Weiss Hopper

    and

    Forties Fashion and the New Look by Colin McDowell (wartime fashions in Great Britain. You may want to look for this in a library due to the recent sky rocket in price (when you can find it at all.) It took me almost 8 years to find this book.)

    Also vintage magazine and catalogues on ebay are a good source. :)
     
  6. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    5,060
    Location:
    Sunny California
    Thanks, Jess! You're so nice!

    DecoDoll, do you have the Women's Wear of the 1930's book? I was really curious about it but didn't really want to get it without hearing a review of it. Have you ever used the patterns?
     
  7. Anagaharad

    Anagaharad New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Midwest
    40s

    I recently bought Everyday Fashions of the Fourties: as pictured in Sears Catalogs. It has the ads listed by year with the original prices and articles. It has everything from dresses to shoes to girdles. Its mostly women's clothes but there are small sections on mens, children's and older lady's clothes. It is edited by JoAnne Olian. I purchased it at Boarders for $15.
     
  8. decodoll

    decodoll Practically Family

    Messages:
    816
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    I do. It's a good book. I only got it a few months ago, though, so I haven't tried any of the patterns yet. There are patterns for a wide range of items, from tap pants, bras and pajamas to day dresses, bathing suits and evening dresses.
     
  9. V For Vixen

    V For Vixen New in Town

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Jess

    Just for sheer "drool" factor - it has to be the glorious Marsha Hunt hardback, "The Way We Wore" (Deco Doll mentioned it also).

    It really has been my bible, and bedtime reading!! My hubby produced it for Christmas a few years ago - I'm so glad he did as the price of it these days is ridiculous!! Keep your eyes open in your secondhand book shops etc.

    V
    xx
     
  10. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    .

    :arated:

    The best showcase for women's clothes from the golden era.
     

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