books, non-fiction, review, vintage

Review: The 1940s Look by Mike Brown

It’s no secret that I love mid century fashion, and books on it are some of my favourites! So today I’m going to talk about the 1940s Look by Mike Brown.

Continuing interest in life on the Home Front during the Second World War means that the style of the 1940s has never been more popular. People are recreating the look for plays and films, re-enactments, 1940s themed events, or just because they enjoy dressing in vintage fashions. The 1940s Look tells you everything you need to know about the fashions of wartime Britain and the impact that rationing, the Utility scheme, changing tastes and the demands of everyday life had on the styles people wore. People had to ‘Make Do and Mend’ – with varying degrees of ingenuity and success. Hair styles, glasses, jewellery, and tattoos were essential in creating your own fashion statement. Women’s magazines advised readers on the difficulties of dressing growing children, offered instructions for making clothes and accessories, and hosted debate over whether by dressing up, women were helping or hindering the war effort. Thoroughly researched and lavishly illustrated, The 1940s Look tells you how civilian men, women and children dressed – and why they looked the way they did during the Second World War. It draws on contemporary sources including government advice, periodicals and books, and benefits from an entertaining narrative by author Mike Brown.

This was an incredibly interesting and informative book! It is divided in all kinds of subject, not only clothing for men, women and children, but also makeup, hair, glasses, and even gas masks! Most books just focus on one subject, clothing for women, but this book talks about everything, and when I say everything, I honestly mean, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject, but this was the first book to talk about something like glasses.

I do, however, think the title is deceiving. All you can see is “The 1940s Look” but as the second title suggests, it only focuses on the Second World War fashion in the UK, which isn’t the entire 1940s look. I know it may seem silly, but it just kind of bothered me? That doesn’t take away from the amazingness of the book.

The size however is really annoying, the book is about 1.25 times bigger than your average book, which makes it really awkward to take with you on your commute or anywhere, really. I couldn’t read this in the bath, nor could I take it on the train with me, so it took me a really long time to finish it. Just be warned if you are a commute reader, because this is just really annoying for that!

If I would recommend one book on 1940s fashion, it would be this one. It talks about absolutely everything, on both men’s and women’s fashion, which isn’t something a lot of books talk about. If you are in need of a 1940s fashion book, this is definitely the one I would recommend!

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, and you can get your copy here!

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