I love reading and learning about fashion and fashion history. Luckily for me, my characters seem to enjoy fashion too. My main characters are female heroines who like to look chic while fighting off their adversaries. Since they live in the 1950s and 1960s, I consult the following books for a good grasp of the fashion.
The Kyoto Costume Institute – Fashion: This two-volume set is incredible. It focuses on clothing, shoes and accessories between the 18th Century and 20th Century. The well-researched writing is accompanied by hundreds of glossy photographs.
Fashion The Definite History of Costume and Style: This book is a treasure trove. It’s jam-packed with fashion and style history from prehistory to present day. It contains timelines, graphics, photography and fashion designer biographies.
Forties Fashion – From Siren Suits to the New Look: This book is about the fashion history of the 40s. The book’s focus is on Europe and North America. It’s organized in a coherent manner and the historical tidbits are invaluable to my fashion research.
How to Read a Dress by Lydia Edwards: This is a fun book to read, whether for research or just for personal pleasure. It focuses on fashion from the 16th Century to the 20th Century. The author included personal family photographs to showcase some of the fashions of her foremothers, which I found touching.
For further fun and/or research, I listen to the podcast Dressed. The hosts are well-versed in fashion history and dive into all aspects of fashion history and fashion culture.
Let me know if you have any favorite books on fashion history. xoxo, Jane