Patrons often need more than just books when researching their family history. Many times, patrons will bring old photographs to the library in the hopes of finding a resource that will help date them. "Out of Style" by Betty Kreisel Shubert might just be that resource.
Unlike other books on dating photographs, this one has a social history behind why fashions changed (or didn't) and evolved the ways they did. The author created her first fashion designs when she was thirteen years old. She has spent a lifetime designing for stage, screen television, Las Vegas and Disneyland.
All the drawings in the book are by the author. They are very well done and show you details that you cannot see with reproductions of old photographs. In addition, she brings eras together. For example, did you know that there were eight sleeve variations between the 1840s and the 1850s? You may not have known but likely could have guessed that our ancestors were not slaves to fashion entirely. Sometimes what they were was not at the peak of fashion but just behind it. This book explains all that.
Also covered are women's hairstyles in all their beribboned, curled and braided glory. Hats, Bonnets and other accessories are also shown. But, it is not only the women covered in this book but the men as well. Coats, trousers, vests, shirts, ties, hats, hair and facial hair.
If you are a genealogist - this book will help you date photographs and for those times before photography - imagine what the dress was like. Costume designers will love this book for its very detailed sketches. Social historians will have a great picture of the evolution of fashion for men women AND CHILDREN from the 19th through the 20th centuries. Vintage collectors will also find much that is useful in these pages.
Beyond the sketches and the history behind the fashions, the author presents the information in a no-nonsense, easy to understand format that makes this book eminently readable as well as browsable. Great for the personal or public library, schools, and theatre groups.
NB: I checked this book out of the public library.