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.
# The Language of Fashion
Almost at the end of this fashion dictionary! I’m a bit relieved but also a little sad. I’ve learned SO much about vintage clothing identification and fashion terminology, but this is one of the most boring things ever to scan, because it’s like… reading and scanning a dictionary 😛 When I finish with this self imposed project, feel free to call me a total weirdo.
It’s interesting to see the types of skirts, sleeves, and sportswear illustrated and defined! Hopefully this helps you in identifying and describing vintage clothing… I can’t help but read thru this fashion dictionary and learn as I scan and post these pages!
I find this fashion dictionary’s timeline of silhouettes thru the ages to be interesting, because people in certain eras interpret describe history differently than at other times. History is subjective, to a degree, if only because of the process of curating and deciding what to include or exclude in a synopsis. It’s interesting to see what a fashion expert writing this dictionary thought was important, and the descriptions they used, as compared to more modern historical perspectives.
My scanning got interrupted today. Here are just 3 pages defining such things as robe d’intrenieur (a hostess gown), ruche, rumba costume, saque (and the 1930s sack garment), different types of sashes, ending with defining the various types of satin.
As I’m recovering from my wonderful New Years celebrations last night… I’m posting 18 more scans from the 1938 fashion dictionary, The Language of Fashion. These pages cover nets (continued) to Robe de Style, with several informative pages between, including a lengthy and informative page about Rayon. Did you know that (in 1938) there are four different processes for making Rayon …
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.
These pages contain many useful fashion terms and definitions! Illustrated is a directoire costume, Dolly Verde Costume (1870), different types of dots (differentiating between those applied chemically, woven, or embroidered), and more.
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.