Book recommendation: Vintage Fashion Sourcebook

Posted by Sadie P Oxfam Fashion blogger

15th Jun 2012

vintage sourcebook


I've had the Vintage Fashion Sourcebook on my book shelf since Christmas and have been meaning to review it ever since. It's a concise 64-page history of the fast changing styles of the 20th Century, detailing how and why fashion evolved from the 'Le Garçonne' look of the flapper era to the colour-blocked power dressing of the 1980s.

I particularly liked the book's emphasis on the benefits and beauty of vintage. To quote a part of the introduction, 'why choose from the ready-to-wear pieces produced for you, when the whole history of fashion is available?' And to make shopping for vintage easier, there is a handy guide at the end of the book containing very useful tips on buying vintage, and even advice on how to care for and store a collection.

The main part of the book focuses on fashion history, taking an era-by-era approach. It charts the key developments of each decade, including the introduction of the zip in the 30s, the famous arrival of the miniskirt in the 60s, 'body stockings' of the 70s, and the obsession with shoulder pads and Laura Ashley dresses in the 80s.

For the aspiring collector, there is a section about how to identify clothing from different eras just by looking at details like zips, as well as a glossary of designers and fashion terms. I'm hoping to use some of the tips when I'm out and about vintage shopping!

I can't believe so much information is packed into 64 pages. I'd definitely recommend this as a great little coffee table book or as a quick reference book for anyone studying fashion… and the best thing? It's available at Oxfam shops or online (£4.99)!

Blog post written by Sadie P

Oxfam Fashion blogger

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