Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence

Article excerpt

World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence. By Mary Ellen Snodgrass. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2014. 2 vols. alkaline $249 (ISBN: 978-0-7656-8300-7). E-book available, call for pricing.

As the name implies, this two-volume encyclopedia has an international focus and examines not just the clothes themselves but also the history, culture, and society surrounding them. The 313 major entries, arranged alphabetically, cover diverse topics such as accessories, period clothing, fabrics, fashion designers, manufacturing, traditions, holidays, national clothing, and more. Main entries contain subheadings that examine a topic from several angles. For example, within the entry for "Ethnic and National Dress," there are subheadings for "Symbolic Expression," "Nationalism and Politics," and "Global Market."

This focus is not exactly unique. In fact there are several recent reference works that concentrate on world fashion and clothing, like the Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Scribner, 2005), The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing through World History (Greenwood, 2008), and the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (Berg, 2010). This encyclopedia seems more suitable to high school and college students because it's more compact than the ones previously mentioned, and it has several features that will be helpful for students who are writing papers. …

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