What a cool treasure, to find a fashion book published at the dawn of World War II. It’s been interesting to expand my fashion vocabulary, and to learn so many new things about the history of fashion.
# fashion reference
Defining and illustrating various types of necklines. How useful to describing and selling vintage clothing online, as well as when buying it!
It amazes me how many different kinds of lace there are, and this fashion dictionary goes thru the pains to illustrate and describe some pretty obscure types! I hope that this is helpful for modern lace identification on vintage clothing and miscellany.
Here are more scanned pages from The Language of Fashion dictionary. Of most interest, to me atleast, was the illustrated and defined types of heels. In 1938, it looks like what I think of as a “stiletto” was called a Spanish Heel.
Among other things, these next 10 pages define and illustrate the different types of mens and womens hats. Special emphasis seems to have been placed on the types of hats that were fashionable for women in 1938 (including the halo, mushroom, skimmer, profile, sailor, Chou, cartwheel, and bumper brim hat styles).
Here are 12 more scans from The Language of Fashion, a fashion dictionary published in 1939. I found the “different types of fancy dress” most interesting in these pages, and funny that it includes a Disney drawing of a dwarf (from Snow White) to illustrate and define a Dwarf Costume.
Yay! The end of the fashion terms beginning with the letter “c” and on to the letter D! These pages cover corset covers, cuffs, curves, cross stitching, culottes, cottons and more.
Different types of coats, illustrated and defined. These include the Box Coat of the 1930s, the Blouse coat of the 1920s, coachmens’ coats, 17th century buffcoat, coolie coat, Balmacaan, Duster early 1900s, Raglan coat, Women’s Cutaway Coat, MacFarlane, and more types of coats.
These pages also cover different types of coifs and collars, including the Bertha collar of the 1920s, the Chin Collar of 1916, and the Buster Brown collar.
The illustrated “blouses” section was pretty interesting, especially since I sell vintage clothes. It’s nice to have precise definitions, general illustrations on how the garment was worn, and approximate dates for when the look was fashionable!
There is the preface and table of contents from The Language of Fashion. The preface contains a pronunciation key, old fashion words vs new fashion words, a note about how color is described in the book (since it was just published in black and white), as well as a paragraph about the use of trademarks.
I am so excited to get The Language of Fashion by Mary Brooks Picken (1938 edition) as an early Christmas present! I am even more thrilled by my friend’s thoughtfulness. Even more excited that this book’s copyright has apparently expired (according to my search on the U.S. government copyright site)…. so I can scan the pages!