The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

by Linda Przybyszewski

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"A tribute to a time when style--and maybe even life--felt more straightforward, and however arbitrary, there were definitive answers." --Sadie Stein, Paris Review
As a glance down any street in America quickly reveals, American women have forgotten how to dress. We lack the fashion know-how we need to dress professionally and beautifully. In The Lost Art of Dress, historian and dressmaker Linda Przybyszewski reveals that this wasn't always true.
In the first half of the twentieth century, a remarkable group of women--the so-called Dress Doctors--taught American women that knowledge, not money, was key to a beautiful wardrobe. They empowered women to design, make, and choose clothing for both the workplace and the home. Armed with the Dress Doctors' simple design principles--harmony, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis--modern American women from all classes learned to dress for all occasions in ways that made them confident, engaged members of society.
A captivating and beautifully illustrated look at the world of the Dress Doctors, The Lost Art of Dress introduces a new audience to their timeless rules of fashion and beauty--rules which, with a little help, we can certainly learn again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465080472
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 548,863
File size: 10 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Linda Przybyszewski is an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. The author of The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan, the editor of Some Memories of a Long Life, 1854-1911, as well as a prize-winning dressmaker, she lives in South Bend, Indiana.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Introducing the Dress Doctors 1

2 Art: Principles for Beauty 13

3 Occasions: The Duty and Pleasure of Dress 77

4 Thrift: Much for Little 131

5 Revolt: The Fall of the Dress Doctors 187

6 Aftermath: Tyrannies of Age and Size 227

Epilogue: Legacies 279

Acknowledgments 289

Illustration Credits 293

Notes 297

Index 331

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The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a seamstress I really enjoyed this book. I have always thought that Home Economics should have been left in school and agree with this author that the absence of it has left generations of women "unschooled and unskilled" in the ways of dress. This book shows we have come a long way in how we dress and maybe not always for the best. If you like fashion you will enjoy this book. There is a really good article on the subject of Fashion Academics,by this Arthur, in Vogue Patterns Magazine June/July 2014. The book goes into more detail than the article and is very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book digs deep into the past in American fashion, when every woman was expected to look her best at every age. There are many lovely illustrations. I bought this as a nook book and the artwork does not suffer at all in e-format. The old rules have reminded me to care more about my appearance.
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