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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Clean text, tight binding; cover may have minor wear and rubbing.
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Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – January 31, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Few publications illustrate so comprehensively what American men, women, and children wore in the 1940s than the Sears catalogs of those years, when the company's fashions typified the tastes of the American mainstream. This book is a compilation of 122 fully illustrated and captioned pages selected and reproduced from rare copies of Sears catalogs of the World War II era.
Over 120 large-format pages have been carefully reprinted on high-quality glossy stock. They reveal in sharp detail the broad range of clothing fashions available during a period when wartime gasoline rationing made mail-order shopping reach new heights of popularity.
Hundreds of accurately detailed drawings depict articles of clothing and personal accessories, including hats, overcoats, shoes, dresses, sportswear, undergarments, neckties, and more. Styles for children range from play clothes to "Sunday best." Men's clothing reflects the conservativism in male fashions during the period. Women's wear ranges from slacks, newly popular with women in the workforce, to dresses with plenty of "Oomph."
Here is a richly revealing document that historians of costume and readers interested in fashion, social history, and Americana will find endlessly fascinating. JoAnne Olian, curator of the Costume Collection at the Museum of the City of New York, has written an introduction that appraises the fashions of the 1940s and the many ways in which they reflected the times.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Green Edition edition (January 31, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486269183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486269184
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.3 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book though amazon's used books, and was completely pleased. Websites and library books often offer a very incomplete view of the 1940's fashions with very few pictures, and descriptions of the time as just being "utilitarian" or "militarized" - which is only PART of the story. This book is mostly ads from the Sears Catalog, showing REAL styles available to the middle class American public, not just the stuff the movie stars wore. You can see how the styles changed slowly over decade, including the introduction of the "New Look" and how it was incorporated into American style in the later part of the decade. Not necessarily for those wanting a history lesson complete with names of designers, price guides, or whatnot. But for someone already familar with the time period or wanting good examples/ideas for period dress or reproduction (with excellent pictures without collecting billions of sewing patterns like I do), this is a delightful resource!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok,I love the clothes of the 1940's anyway,thats why I bought this book. But it really is great fun for people who remember that time and a good history lesson for those who don't. I mean, a gown for 5 bucks?! Where's my time machine?;-) Enjoy!
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By A Customer on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just love the Everyday Fashions series because there are so many different designs. In other fashion history or resource books, there are usually only a couple of examples. This book has women, men, teens, kids... I think anyone who is a costumer, or enjoys creating vintage repros should own these books.
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Format: Paperback
I adore 40's fashions and this book got me going a few years ago. It is a broad overview of the entire decade, of course, and you can find which part of the decade appeals to your fashion sense. War time austerity to "new look" femininity. I particularly like the mid-decade styles with its blend of feminine style and simplicity borne out of rationing. However you like it, you can take it from there. I'm giving the book 4 stars largely because of the reproduction quality. Too often, for me, the pictures seem poorly copied from the catalog. More "Xerox" than "laser".
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By A Customer on March 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
As someone who buys, sells, and wears vintage clothing on a daily basis, this book is a wonderful reference. It depicts the entire fashion spectrum of the 40s, from shoes to playsuits, from women to men to children, from lingerie to maternity wear. Very interesting read, even for those not into vintage clothing. I've got a collection built up of so-so fashion reference books - this one blows them all out of the water. Worth every penny and then some - I'm guessing " jill from manhattan" has a little bit of a complex.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I make retro doll clothes and I need reference for the clothes of a certain era. This book offers a wealth of clothes and accessories for the 1940s as pictured in an old Sears catalog. It would have been nice to have the pictures in color, but the details on the drawings are great. Also the price was right for a reference book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good resource, but I needed a lot more men's clothing for a project I am working on. and the pictures don't always have their accompanying descriptions, if it wasn't on the original page. A bit thin compared to my old book on the 1930's.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book for the wonderful photos of clothing and accessories (like leg make-up). I also have the Everyday Fashions of the Thirties, an equally enjoyable reference book.B&W photos
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