Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Dressed for the Photograp... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book has a slight bow, Text and illustrations excellent, light cover wear, moderate edgewear to cover
Trade in your item
Get a $9.84
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900 Hardcover – January 1, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$60.00
$45.53 $39.08

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$60.00 FREE Shipping. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900
  • +
  • An Illustrated History of Hairstyles 1830-1930
  • +
  • 19th Century Card Photos KwikGuide: A Step-by-Step Guide to Identifying and Dating Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards
Total price: $108.77
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

This history of ordinary American fashion begins in 1840 and ends in 1900, spanning a period of time in which changing economics dictated clothing trends. Letters, diaries, period photos and Severa's own analysis provide in-depth and strong analysis of fashion trends and inconsistencies between class and fashion representation. -- Midwest Book Review

From the Back Cover

In Dressed for the Photographer, Joan Severa gives a visual analysis of the dress of middle-class Americans from the mid-to-late 19th century. Using images and writings, she shows how even economically disadvantaged Americans could wear styles within a year or so of current fashion. This desire for fashion equality demonstrates that the possession of culture was more important than wealth or position in the community. In presenting a broad overview of common fashion, Severa gathers letters and diaries as well as photographs from various sources across the United States. She provides graphic evidence that ordinary Americans, when dressed in their finest attire, appeared very much the same as their wealthier neighbors. But upon closer examination, these photographs often reveal inconsistencies that betray the actual economic status of the sitter. These fascinating photographs coupled with Severa's insights offer an added dimension to our understanding of 19th-century Americans. Intended as an aid in dating costumes and photographs and as a guide for period costume replication, Dressed for the Photographer provides extensive information for understanding the social history and material culture of this period. It will be of interest to general readers as well as to social historians and those interested in fashion, costume, and material culture studies.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State University Press (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873385128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873385121
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ms. Severa's thoughtful and articulate tour through approximately 60 years of American Fashion reads more like a novel than a fashion textbook, although it is certainly an excellent example of the latter. Her inclusion of a detailed historical preface to each decade studied, provides the reader with a good sense of the times these people lived in, their wants, hopes and backgrounds are all captured and rendered understandable to both the historian and the casual observer.
As a newcomer to the study of dress, I found her ability to recognize and explain subtle details of clothing nuances extraordinary. Many of these were, at first glance barely visible in an aging photograph, but upon her outlining them they became so readily apparent as to cause the reader to wonder why they hadn't seen it sooner! It is a lovely book, either for the professional costumer or historian, or the casual observer who might want a glimpse into the history of those who came before, and the role fashion played throughout the early history of America.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you like looking at old photographs with haunting, austere faces staring out from stilled figures in 19th-century garb, this book is worth every penny. The photos in this volume are incredibly evocative and encompass a wide range of people from various walks of life. The photos are nicely presented, with one large picture per page accompanied by an extensive caption that explains the clothing/fashion details reflected in the picture. This is one of those books that I return to again and again because I love what it does to my imagination, in terms of stimulating my ideas regarding both Victorian-era costuming and a way of life that is long since vanished.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I consider Severa's work to be of great potential use to any family researcher who has ever stared at an unidentified family photograph and wondered just when and where it was taken. For, unless one descends from a famous family, such images are likely to be distressingly anonymous. As with any type of historical research, searching out the context can greatly increase one's chances -- and in a photo, while the countryside and the buildings may not change, the clothing of the subjects almost certainly will. Even those expert in other areas of historical knowledge often make mistakes in interpreting the depicted garments of ordinary people. Or not so ordinary: The author describes several misinterpretations even of Paul Revere's clothing in the famous John Singleton Copley portrait. And Severa, as probably the leading historian of American costume, is certainly the best possible author for a massive study like this. Each chapter covers one decade of the 19th century since the practical introduction of photography, including first a discussion of general trends and the effects of manufacturing innovations and social influences, and then examining and discussing a large number of specific individual and group portraits of farmers, families, children, shop girls, and soldiers in considerable detail. This isn't "just" a reference guide, though, but a fully realized history and the reader not only will learn about the details of American dress but also will acquire a number of new insights in historical method.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In only about fifteen minutes I identified my gggrandmother's photo as belonging to the 1850's era by her dress, hair and collar. Easy to use by comparing photo to those in the book and the descriptions offered in the text. Arranged by decade, this is a truely marvelous reference and well worth the price.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I have never owned a book that crosses so many subject lines. Although presented like a school text for a Fashion History class, "Dressed for the Photographer" is such a beautifully crafted reference that it makes historical fashion fascinating.
Anyone who enjoys browsing through very old photographs will be amazed at the quality of the Daguerrotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes and assorted other photographic techniques included in the pictorial sections. The text that accompanies each photograph includes whatever information was available on the subject. In a picture worth a thousand words, Ms. Sevra reads what the economic and cultural means of the people probably were by their manner of dress. In a few well-documented photographs, the photographer is even mentioned.
Probably the most interesting stills are those of African-Americans. African-Americans are portrayed as business-owners, college graduates, and servants. But, the fact that they are included at all is very special. It is unfortunate that fashion documentation of other people of color either wasn't as plentiful or available for inclusion.
Ms. Sevra has managed to portray America as it grew older as a country; the wealth and demeanor of her citizens through the way they were captured on film. It is a unique and quite appropriate historical perspective on the beginnings of a culture that has become the ideal of consumption. I can only hope that in another 100 years, someone else will be as thorough (and unbaised) with today's disposible camera society.
reviewed by Yvonne
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on January 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have never seen a more complete book for the fashion history enthusiast. Thick and heavy with loads of black and white photographs, detailed descriptions of the photos, and a decade-by-decade listing of the fashions of the time (womens clothing and undergarments, childrens' wear, mens' wear, and even shoes and hats are included!).
A true gem sure to keep the reader entranced for hours at a time...
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900