The (Fashion Book) Motherlode!

fashion plate

Reason #5,898 why I love Google Book Search: I just found an amazing book. It's Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture, and it's described as:

Providing a convenient and unique look at fashion and costume literature and how it has developed historically, this volume discusses monographic and reference literature and provides information on periodicals, research centers, and costume museums and collections. It also provides a new way of looking at the literature through a database of 58 Library of Congress subject headings. It covers topics from jeans to wedding dresses and features "popular" examples of how clothing is used and reflected in our culture through the literature discussed. Of interest to scholars, students, and anyone curious about the unique power clothing holds in our lives. Various types of reference sources are discussed including other guides to the literature, encyclopedia, dictionaries, biographical dictionaries, specialized bibliographies, and indexing and abstracting services. Electronic CD-ROM and online databases equivalents are included in the presentation of indexing and abstracting services with major networks such as OCLC, RLIN, Lexis/Nexis, and Dialog mentioned as well. In addition a list of 123 research centers, mainly libraries, is provided and arranged geographically by state, some 176 costume museums and collections of costumes located at colleges and universities are listed alphabetically, and a list of 278 periodicals on fashion, costume, clothing and related topics is provided. A database of some 58 clothing and accessory subject headings is analyzed in the Worldcat database with the literature of the top ten specific clothing and accessory subject terms limited to media publication format are covered. Additionally, histories of costume and fashion in the U.S. and works which concentrate on psychological, sociological or cultural aspects are outlined. An appendix, including the clothing and accessory database, and author and subject indexes conclude the volume.

Holy moly, right? I love annotated bibliographies; and this one seems great — especially the overview of clothing and accessory subject headings (</library geek>). The only downside is the book is not illustrated (so the picture above, from, is only for eye-candy).

I found a copy for only $20, including shipping, and there were plenty more where that came from!

0 thoughts on “The (Fashion Book) Motherlode!

  1. Sounds like a perfect Phd project: Add illustrations to this resource.Much more fun than indexing and abstracting, which library geeks sometimes do for degree work.Wish list: Illustrations for this, indexing for the entire Draper Manuscript. There’s gotta be a grant out there somewhere for this.


  2. Erin,See if you can track down a copy of “The Elegant Beast.” A thin book, with drawn illustrations of male and female fashion from the medieval to the relatively modern, but all the models are animals. The choices are hilarious. For example, the aging Queen Elizabeth is a big, wrinkly-necked tortoise while her much smaller courtier is a frog. Henry VIII is a strapping bulldog, while Anne Boleyn is a big-eyed Chihuahua.See: text is hilarious. For the ornate bustle era, the author writes, “Never has fabric suffered such abuse in the name of fashion.”Monique in TX


  3. Hi Erin,I chanced on your blog a few days back while searching for pictures of a dress and quickly devoured all the archives. I love reading your writing and it makes me feel better to know that there are other people out there who sew and who like the look of vintage dresses. I haven’t sewn for ages (no sewing machine here in Melbourne!) and reading your blog makes me feel like if I were to get one, I could actually accomplish something with it. Anyway, chanced upon this on eBay this morning. It’s an Australian 8 (I think that’s a US 2 or 4) and the print, the full circle skirt and the sweetheart neckline made me think of you. I don’t even really like prints (classic boring solid wearer) and I love this one! My size + affordable = spread the word so I don’t feel tempted to buy it.By the way, I’ve also put the link to the auction in the “my webpage” field just in case it doesn’t come out in the body of the comment.Thanks for the hours of fun and the dresses!


  4. I can see myself buying that book. After which I would be sleep deprived from hours of looking on the internet for the best deal on, oh, about 150 of the bibliographical references. Amy


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