Review // Getting Dressed (Turn of the Century)

Getting Dressed (Turn of the Century)

By Sheila Jackson and Tim Wood

It would be easy to make fun of this very dated book, but I’m going to do my best to leave off on the sarcasm and give it an even-handed overview. Published in 1992, and written in extremely simple language, this book is a very basic introduction and comparison of modern garments and those worn in Victorian and Edwardian eras. Organized by various short headings like “What do you wear”, “school uniform”, “clothes for fun”, etc. it expands upon these topics with a combination of hand-drawn illustrations, vintage photographs/ads, and photos from the early 1990’s, lasting no longer than two pages for each heading.  There is no bibliography mentioned, but many of their quoted sources are from elderly people who lived during the early 20th century, relating what they wore or a particular experience with clothing.  Unintentionally humorous are the various photograph of children from the early 90’s trying on vintage clothes with various expressions of discomfort or uncertainty.

Potentially useful are the period photographs of children, images of button-hooks for lacing shoes and spats/gaiters, and an Edwardian skirt-lifter for lady-cyclists…maybe…also a list of various costume museums in the UK.

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