One in a series of eight books updated and revised, the 1930s title follows fashion through the decade, juxtaposing its trends and influences along with the events of the day, politically, socially, and economically. The 30s began with the depression and ended in war, as it states in the introduction. The subsequent eight chapters focus on various influences on fashion in more detail, such as the depression, the movies, Art Deco, and the development of new materials for clothing, for instance. The interesting layout utilizes text, outstanding period photos and illustrations, and boxed highlights to grab young readers' attention. The text is comprehensive and well researched but often goes into too much detail for the intended audience. The variety of illustrations may sustain the readers' interest. A chronology, glossary, and an index are included.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-- Baker explains how Nazi invasions and Japanese bombings forced rapid economic and therefore fashion change. Rationing became the order of the day. To save material, skirts narrowed and shortened; the midriff was bared in swim suits; pockets, buttons, and trim were regulated; and attached coathoods were banned. Costantino looks at The 1930s , when 23 million people were out of work; even the rich found it necessary to watch expenditures carefully, and Coco Chanel reduced her prices by 50%. Splashed with full-color photos and illlustrations, plenty of verve, and enticing information, both books connect political and social history with the reasons people chose particular dress modes. The reading lists and other reference aids make them handy for researchers, but they are also delightful to browse through and certain to lead young people to ponder their own sartorial choices. Two books that will be interesting to anyone searching for the whys and wherefores of human identity.-- Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY