Fashion and Family History: Interpreting How Your Ancestors Dressed

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 208 pages
Author: J. Shrimpton
Year: 2020
ISBN: 9781526760265
Other: b&w & colour photos, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Studying dress history teaches us much about the past. In this skilfully-illustrated, accessible and authoritative book, Jayne Shrimpton demonstrates how fashion and clothes represent the everyday experiences of earlier generations, illuminating the world in which they lived.

As Britain evolved during the 1800s from a slow-paced agrarian society into an urban-industrial nation, dress was transformed. Traditional rural styles declined and modern city modes, new workwear and holiday gear developed. Women sewed at home, while shopping advanced, novel textiles and mass-produced goods bringing affordable fashion to ordinary people. Many of our predecessors worked as professional garment-makers, laundresses or in other related trades: close to fashion production, as consumers they looked after their clothes.

The author explains how, understanding the social significance of dress, the Victorians observed strict etiquette through special costumes for Sundays, marriage and mourning. Poorer families struggled to maintain standards, but young single workers spent their wages on clothes, the older generation cultivating their own discreet style. Twentieth-century dress grew more relaxed and democratic as popular culture influenced fashion for recent generations who enjoyed sport, cinema, music and dancing.

This is an highly-illustrated expert guide to fashion for men, women and children, covering the 1800 to 1950 period.

Picture Credits

Chapter 1 Fashion Timeline, 1800-1950
 - Women's Styles
 - Men's Dress
 - Children's Clothes

Chapter 2 Following Fashion
 - Metropolitan Novelties
 - Regional Variations
 - Technological Advances
 - Presenting an Image
 - The Generation Gap
 - Fashion and Popular Culture

Chapter 3 Work Wear: Town and Country
 - Rural Styles
 - Factory Dress
 - Business Modes

Chapter 4 Work Wear: Occupational Uniforms
 - Standardised Dress
 - Domestic Servants
 - Behind the Counter

Chapter 5 Dressing up, Dressing down
 - 'Sunday best'
 - At Home
 - Holiday Clothes

Chapter 6 Sports Wear
 - Horse-Riding
 - Tennis
 - Cycling
 - Motoring
 - Golf
 - Walking and Rambling

Chapter 7 Special Occasions
 - Bridalwear
 - Mourning Attire
 - Evening Dress

Chapter 8 Making and Buying
 - Learning to Sew
 - Home Work
 - Paper Patterns and Sewing Machines
 - Make-do and Mend
 - Hand-Knitting
 - Sourcing Fabrics and Clothes

Chapter 9 Caring for Clothes
 - Preserving Fine Apparel
 - The Household Laundry
 - Starching, Drying and Ironing
 - Storing Clothes

Chapter 10 Clothing Industry Work
 - Regional Manufactures
 - Dressmakers and Seamstresses
 - Washerwomen and Laundry Workers

Chapter 11 Fashion Heirlooms
 - Costume Keepsakes
 - Jewelled Treasures
 - Painted and Printed Records


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Fashion and Family History: Interpreting How Your Ancestors Dressed

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