If you have studied the pages of the volumes of previous decades in this Fashion History series, you will find that this book is the least varied. That is because the 1940s were pretty fashion-stable. There were changes in the silhouette for both men and women during the period, but nothing like the dramatic shifts of 20s and 30s.
Nonetheless, if you are into World War II-era fashion, this is definitely a visual companion worth adding to your collection.
Everyday Fashions of the Thirties deserves its own review by merit of the decade’s sheer diversity in styles.
Where the 1930s start out looking very much like the 1920s, you can spy the beginning of that typical 1930s silhouette in the early years. This book really shows how, year by year, the fashion gradually stepped away from the flapper days of the Roaring Twenties and toward the defining look of the 30s.
In my review of Patterns of Fashion 2, I mentioned that there are alternatives to that work. This is one of them. Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns (1999) has all the garments a lady living in Victorian-era America was supposed to own. Plenty are geared toward the upper-class woman, but the books contains patterns for a variety of outfits.
All the patterns are reproductions from a dressmaker’s journal called The Voice of Fashion. (Of which this is not the only reproduction, but I digress.)
Personally, I find these patterns much easier to work with than those in Patterns of Fashion 2. Not only are we provided with a short introduction shedding light onto the cost of an American lady’s wardrobe, and what should be in it according to polite society at the time; the methods needed to turn these patterns into a garment that fits your body are pretty well explained.
To those who habitually sew historical garments, the Patterns of Fashion series is probably nothing new. To those who don’t: Patterns of Fashions is a series often referred to by costubers, especially those working recreating garments from the past century and before.
Colleen Darnell and her husband John have devoted themselves to Egyptology and educating people on the subject — in the vintage styles of, mostly, the 1920s. All the more reason to follow them! Not only do you get a look at exquisite Roaring Twenties fashions; you learn a lot about Egyptian history.
It’s not exactly vintage, as these are newly made hats in vintage styles, but dieselpunk fans will want to know about Karen Back’s The Heritage Milliner, a UK-based milliner who creates ladies hats in the styles of the era.
Finding vintage-style headbands is easy enough. Instagram and Etsy are rife with small shops making them. If you’re not too set on historical accuracy, you can also find nice things in the usual high-street locale.
But for hats, the usual options are paying a pretty penny for true vintage or scouring thrift stores in hopes of finding one on the cheap.
The Heritage Milliner provides a much needed middle road. Not only are her hats high-quality; she has a wonderful choice in types of hats and an immense variety of color.