The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

by Linda Przybyszewski

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Overview

"A tribute to a time when style — and maybe even life — felt more straightforward, and however arbitrary, there were definitive answers." — Sadie Stein, Paris Review

As a glance down any street in America quickly reveals, American women have forgotten how to dress. We lack the fashion know-how we need to dress professionally and beautifully. In The Lost Art of Dress, historian and dressmaker Linda Przybyszewski reveals that this wasn't always true.
In the first half of the twentieth century, a remarkable group of women — the so-called Dress Doctors — taught American women that knowledge, not money, was key to a beautiful wardrobe. They empowered women to design, make, and choose clothing for both the workplace and the home. Armed with the Dress Doctors' simple design principles — harmony, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis — modern American women from all classes learned to dress for all occasions in ways that made them confident, engaged members of society.

A captivating and beautifully illustrated look at the world of the Dress Doctors, The Lost Art of Dress introduces a new audience to their timeless rules of fashion and beauty — rules which, with a little help, we can certainly learn again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465036714
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,242,071
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Linda Przybyszewski is an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. The author of The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan, the editor of Some Memories of a Long Life, 1854-1911, as well as a prize-winning dressmaker, she lives in South Bend, Indiana.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Introducing the Dress Doctors 1

2 Art: Principles for Beauty 13

3 Occasions: The Duty and Pleasure of Dress 77

4 Thrift: Much for Little 131

5 Revolt: The Fall of the Dress Doctors 187

6 Aftermath: Tyrannies of Age and Size 227

Epilogue: Legacies 279

Acknowledgments 289

Illustration Credits 293

Notes 297

Index 331

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