This is the 6th book I’ve now reviewed in the series and I can safely say they just keep getting better. What I really love about them is their accessibility. They’re all a blend of information and entertainment, beautifully illustrated so they’re not too heavy and ponderous to read and are a joy to flick through as well.
Style Me Vintage: 1940s is an interesting mix of history book, collectors guide and beginners “how to” book.
It starts with chapters on hair and make up, these chapters are interesting from a historical perspective, and also contain a couple of step-by-step guides to creating some key make up and hair looks. Honestly, if you’ve never created a victory roll before you’d probably be better off searching You Tube for tutorials, but without the practical guides the book probably wouldn’t feel complete and they’re a good basic start if you already have a bit of experience with hair styling, but maybe have never tried that exact look before. If my hair was long enough I’d be off trying braids right now!
It then moves onto covering war-time and post-war fashion, and this is where I think the book really shines. I am quite familiar with 1940s fashion in the UK and US, and the book covers these really well, but it also contains fascinating sections on wartime fashions in Germany and France, which I am less familiar with, so learnt something new!
For lovers of fashion history the book has details about wartime restrictions, make do and mend and how women dressed every day, for collectors there are brand spotlights, lists of popular labels for everything from compacts to jewellery and dresses, and for re-enactors, or those looking to recreate a vintage style there are tips on how to “get the look” including modern and reproduction styles that fit the bill as well as original vintage.
I really was surprised by how much information is stuffed into what looks like such a small book!
One of my favourite elements was that the book is illustrated throughout with photographs of the authors Nanna in the 1940s, which gives it a personal and authentic touch instead of being illustrated with the same old vintage stock photos we’ve all seen a thousand times.
As ever, the book ends with a practical resources section so you can get shopping for vintage and reproduction online!
If you’re interested in the 1940s at all I highly recommend this. Even if it you already have a fair bit of knowledge about the era there will be something there for you, even if it’s just some very pretty pictures!
It’s currently available to buy on Amazon for £11.99. The link below will make me a few pennies, or you can just go and hunt it down yourself!