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Everyday Fashions of the Thirties: As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

Everyday Fashions of the Thirties: As Pictured in Sears Catalogs
Your Price: $21.95 CDN
Edited by: Stella Blum
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 133
Pub. Date: 1986
ISBN-10: 048625108X
ISBN-13: 9780486251080

About the Book:

Everyday Fashions of the Thirties as Pictured in Sears Catalogs contains hundreds of authentic images that 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.

For thousands of women across America, hard hit when the frivolity of the twenties ended so resoundingly with the Crash of 1929, 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.

About the Author:

Stella Blum (1916-1985) was an American costume curator, educator, writer, scholar, and founding member and Fellow of the Costume Society of America. Affiliated with the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1940, she became its first curator in 1970, and helped to develop costume as an area of serious study.

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