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Everyday Fashions of the Thirties as Pictured in Sears Catalogs (Dover Books on Costume & Textiles)by Stella Blum
Synopses & Reviews
For thousands of women across America, hard hit when the frivolity of the twenties ended so resoundingly with the Crash of '29, the pages of the Sears catalog became an essential resource in maintaining a wardrobe. An ambitious marketing operation, it could not afford to take chances on haute couture; its fashions were geared as closely as possible to the prevailing tastes of the American people.
For this historically accurate sampling of authentic 1930s fashion, Stella Blum, former Curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, selected for reproduction 133 representative pages from rare Sears catalogs of the period (fall and spring catalog for each year from 1930 to 1939). Hundreds of illustrations record what men, women, and children were actually wearing in the 1930s when, as a copyline from the Fall 1930 catalog proclaimed: "Thrift is the spirit of the day. Reckless spending is a thing of the past."
You'll see here how simpler women's fashion designs — of more traditional, affordable material — recaptured the feminine form with a more natural waistline and lower hemlines than seen in the twenties. For evening wear, longer dresses replaced flamboyant beaded short gowns while cloche hats, another twenties trademark, were replaced by berets, pillboxes, and turbans. The seriousness of the accessories and dresses endorsed by such Hollywood legends as Loretta Young, Claudette Colbert, and Fay Wray.
For historians of costume, nostalgia buffs and casual browsers, these pages afford a rare picture of how the average American really dressed during the thirties. It is an essential resource for study of the clothing of an important era which designers cannot afford to be without.
Catalog illustrations show what American men, women and children actually wore during the 1930s, including shoes, coats, underwear, shirts, blouses, hats, dresses, purses, suits, and sweaters.
Hundreds of authentic images reflect a mood of economic austerity. Over 130 fully illustrated pages from Sears catalogs offer historically accurate pictures of what men, women, and children wore throughout the decade.
More than 100 selections of day and evening wear from full-color French catalogs produced for the international market document changes in fashion from the stock market crash to the dawn of WWII.
In addition to a world-wide depression and the rise of Fascism throughout Europe, the years between 1929 and 1938 witnessed dramatic changes in women's fashion. With the turning of the decade, the free and easy fashions of the Roaring Twenties shifted to a softer, more conservative look, with an emphasis on curves rather than angles. Hemlines plummeted almost overnight and did not begin to rise until mid-decade.
These selections from full-color French catalogs produced for the international market from 1929 through 1938 document the changes in fashion from the time of the stock market crash to the dawn of World War II. More than 100 images of day and evening wear illustrate the movement from flapper fashions to a more austere look. Fashion designers, costume historians, costumers, and anyone who loves fashion will treasure this richly illustrated survey.
Over 130 fully illustrated pages from Sears catalogs offer historically accurate images of what men, women, and children wore throughout 1930s. Hundreds of illustrations reflect the era's mood of economic austerity and its departure from the flamboyance of Twenties fashions in favor of lower hemlines and garments made from more traditional, affordable materials.
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