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Book Review: 1940's Style Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940's Fashion for Women

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I was recently contacted by Debbie Wells, author of The 1940's Style Guide: A Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940's Fashion for Women to use an image of 1940's tap pants from mine and Amanda's etsy shop in her book. Of course, we said yes and eagerly awaited the completion of the book.

 She forwarded the ebook to me to review a few weeks ago and I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you!
  Let me start by noting that I am a complete fashion history nerd! Since high school, I've been studying various periods of fashion history from the 14th century to the early 1960's. The 1940's Style Guide is like a text book for wartime fashion enthusiasts. If you love to read reference books like I do, you will probably love it too! Of course, if you don't like text books, it's probably not the fashion book for you. 1940's Style Guide is an ebook so you can save it to your computer or print it out at home .My favorite aspect of this book is that, unlike many vintage fashion books, it contained more information than just pretty pictures.
Sample page from 1940's Style Guide
Content- Every variety of 1940's garment is covered in this book. As I mentioned in my review on her website, this book is a perfect resource for students, designers and admirers of vintage fashions. As a home seamstress, I was really thrilled to have all of the information on period construction available in one location. This book would be very helpful to both buyers and sellers in dating 1940's vintage clothing as well.

History- I love how the book explains the history behind 1940's style. Since wartime fashions were dictated by rations, this book explains what types of fabrics and trims were available as well as length allowed for skirts, sleeves, amount of pockets to be used and so on.

Organization- The book is very well organized according to garment type so its easy to find the information that you're looking for. Images of each garment are on the same page as the garment description.

Images- Each page of the book has several beautiful images of 1940's fashions. Some are full color, some are original black and white photos from the era. The images really help to explain the garment's style and construction.

Debbie mentioned that this book will be revised and updated in the future so I look forward to seeing what she comes up with. I really enjoyed the basic 40's hairstyles section and the jewelry and accessories section. I hope that the revised volumes elaborate more on those topics because I'm a big fan of accessories and hair tutorials! You can read more about 1940's Style Guide on the 1940's Style Guide Website. I hope everyone who reads it enjoys it as much as I did!

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3 Responses to “Book Review: 1940's Style Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940's Fashion for Women”

  1. Definitely showing this to my sister! She's been making clothes based on vintage patterns for a few months, so she'll definitely get a kick out of this. :D

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  2. This book is now on my "to get" list! Thanks for the recommendation!

    Hope you and baby-to-be are doing well!
    Hugs,
    Sue

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  3. Just bought Sew Vintage recently looks like this one is next.

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