Book review: The 1940s Style Guide Our regular blogger, writer Debbie Sessions aka The Vintage Dancer, has just published her latest ebook The 1940s Style Guide – The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940?s Fashion for Men and Women (download now for $18 or pay $21 plus postage for a print edition). Without any bias, The 1940s Style Guide is one of the best books on Forties style we’ve come across. Debbie loves the Forties and has been researching the era for years, and it’s that knowledge and her personal passion that make this book particularly successful – this isn’t a fashion historian writing about the past but a vintage girl detailing where to find great period clothing, how to get your hair and make-up to look authentic or what kind of underwear to choose to get the silhouette just right. Don’t think this is an amateur book though, beautifully designed and with dozens of illustrative images, this is a feast for the eyes as much as a fantastic foray into Forties fashion history. Learn why certain events (like WWII) influenced fashion design, with each section of clothing from formal wear to undergarments including detailed descriptions about the colors, materials, trim and accessories that made each item distinctive. The book also includes a range of really useful tutorials including hairstyles (day and evening wear that work on long, medium and short women’s hair as well as men’s styling tips) a simple and historically accurate makeup application guide, how to make a girdle, how to sew from Forties patterns and top tips on finding Forties clothing in vintage shops. Best of all, Debbie has included nearly 200 web links to her favourite websites, be it vintage shops, seamstresses, blogs or historical resources. The 1940s Style Guide is an absolute must for anyone interested in the decade! 4 Responses Mat Keller February 26th, 2013 I’d be interested to know what the percentage of men’s style to women’s style is? Most of the time with these ‘complete’ or ‘definitive’ guides to a decades style there is either only a couple of pages or no pages at all devoted to men’s style! ‘fingers crossed’ this one is different. Lena February 26th, 2013 Mat, I’ve got a copy at home and will report back! Rebecka February 26th, 2013 While you are checking Lena, I am guessing the book focuses on US 1940s fashion (rather than UK)? Debbie February 26th, 2013 Debbie, the author here. @Matt the mens sections is 25 of the 92 pages. Includes everything from suits on down to shoes, underwear, hats, ties, etc. I am pretty sure it is the only book on 1940’s mens clothing that isn’t more than a page or two : ) @ Rebecka, since I am American it does tend a bit on the USA history side but I do reference the UK a lot since the two countries were so closely tied together. Information on rationing, restrictions, and trends covers both countries.