Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday Spotlight: Style Me Vintage 1940s


As someone who tends to haunt Amazon's selection of fashion history books, I had often seen various titles in the Style Me Vintage series pop up on my radar. I finally decided to pick up a copy of the 1940's styling guide to see what the series was like and determine if they were something I wanted to add to my fashion library.

The book was helpfully laid out in sections; on make-up, hair styling, fashion, lingerie etc. Each section gave a good overview of the styles for the 1940's, focusing on both wartime and post war fashions. Author Liz Tregenza obviously knows her stuff (as anyone who follows her excellent Instagram knows) and I think the balance of historic background and photos was really well done. The book covers British fashion of the 1940's more than other resources I have come across which was a nice change of pace from the more usual focus on Hollywood style. As I know less about both wartime fashions and British 40's styles, I found the rationing information really interesting.

So will I be picking up the other volumes in the series? Honestly probably not. Though the book gives a great overview of 1940s fashion and style, for someone who has already been researching 20th century fashion at length for years there just isn't enough bang for the buck. I would really like a more step by step vintage styling book to get ideas for putting outfits together, what hat to wear with what suit, what colors were often paired with navy in the 1940s, rules about when exactly it was appropriate to wear straw hats throughout the year, more examples of prints or common color combinations and that sort of thing. I suppose I used to read modern fashion magazines that gave such advice (several ways of styling one dress or blouse for example) and was hoping for more "styling" advice as opposed to a straight up overview of the era.

Still, I think Style Me Vintage 1940s is a wonderfully well put together book with great tips for people just getting into 1940's or vintage styles. The personal style snaps from the author's family were one of the best parts, and the focus on regular everyday style as opposed to Hollywood glam or particularly pin-up styles was really welcome.

Have any of you picked up any of the Style Me Vintage books? What did you think? Let me know in ze comments :)




8 comments:

  1. Yeah, I feel like that's the problem with this kind of a book if you're already well versed in vintage fashion - they're meant more for people who are just getting into it and need to pick up the basics. I have the same kinds of questions that you do, so if you ever find a source that does a good job answering them, please let us know!
    Zella Maybe

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    1. The description for the book said there would be something for newbies to enthusiasts, but that just really ins't the case. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out, someone must have been publishing more specific information on styling back in the day!

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  2. I have several of the books in this series and have really enjoyed them all, especially the styling and the pictures. But, with the exception of the hair styling one, like you I haven't learnt a lot but that is probably for the same reason, having done lots of reading on vintage fashion.

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    1. I may have to check out the hair styling one sometime, I'd like to flip through before I buy from now on though!

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  3. I did put a piece from Good Housekeeping in the 1940s on what to wear with navy (http://crinolinerobot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/what-goes-with-navy.html); some of the colour combinations weren't what I expected.

    I usually find books where I love the pictures are thin on textual information and ones where the text is fascinating don't have enough pictures... I guess what's needed is books on specifics, such as 1940s hats or 1940s knits, rather than trying to cover the whole decade in one volume.

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    1. I will reading those posts asap! The more specifics and details the better for us super enthusiasts I suppose :)

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  4. I have the one that covers hair, make-up, and clothes, which I found very helpful for styling hair, even though it's nearly one style per decade. I haven't seen this one though that just targets a specific era.

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    1. They have quite a few of these now I believe, I'd love to flip through the hair one someday!

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