Vintage Fashion Complete manages to combine both pretty photos of enviable vintage pieces with well researched and useful information on an almost encyclopedic range of topics.
Instead of using the most common layout for fashion history books, chronological, author Nicky Albrechtsen summarizes each decade in just the first third of the book and uses the rest of the ample space to cover specifics like the history and styles of gloves, or hats, or bridal gowns, polka dots, knitwear, aprons, and much more! When was the last time you picked up a fashion or vintage book that covered aprons?! I loved the idea of picking a motif, like florals, and showing/explaining how each decade interpreted the style. When the book arrived, and even after flipping through it quickly, I thought I would be able to read the entirety of its text before writing up this mini review for you all, but the text was detailed enough that such an undertaking wasn't actually possible! I have read through just under half of it now and look forward to returning to the specific sections in the future to learn more about gloves or shoes or what have you.
I think any vintage lover would really enjoy this book, and it would make a great textbook of sorts to those interested in starting to collect or sell vintage. Learning the difference between a 1950's dress and a 1980's revival of a very similar style can come down to details well described in this book. Which reminds me, this book covers all of 20th century vintage fashion, so have a good laugh looking at some of the crazier 1970's and 1980's styles!
Have any of you picked up Vintage Fashion Complete? What did you think? I think it is a worthy addition to my library, and I have definitely been inspired to add a few things to my sewing and vintage shopping lists!