Style Me Vintage: Clothes: A Guide to Sourcing and Creating Retro Looks

Naomi Thompson. Anova/Pavilion (Trafalgar Sq./IPG, dist.), $15.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-86205-936-8
Although the subtitle implies some element of DIY, this slim volume is instead a brief guide to the prevailing fashion styles of the decades from the 1920s to 1980s. Full-color photographs illustrate aspects of each decade’s notable trends, and several outfits per section are photographed on models. Thompson, who specializes in putting together individualized vintage outfits, also includes chapters on vintage undergarments and swimwear, along with general guidelines for fitting and caring for all vintage styles, which, while not in-depth, are helpful. Still, the purpose of the book is a bit vague, and while Thompson clearly knows her stuff, it’s hard to understand information such as “Dresses mainly fastened via hooks and eyes, or poppers (press studs), on the side seam, or via rouleau loops...” without an extensive fundamental knowledge of dressmaking technique of the kind that would find this book too basic. That the book is British and hasn’t been adapted for an American audience may be charming (one should shop at “carboot fares”), but adds to the general confusion. A pretty book to look at, but not very helpful, except perhaps to the utter vintage novice. 100 full-color photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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