Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe

By Ellermann, Marissa | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2016 | Go to article overview

Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe


Ellermann, Marissa, Reference & User Services Quarterly


Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe. Edited by Jose Blanco F. Santa Barbara, CA: ABCCLIO, 2016. 4 vols. Acid free $415.00 (ISBN: 978-1-61069309-7). E-book available (978-1-61069-310-3), call for pricing.

Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe is a comprehensive, four-volume, encyclopedic reference guide with more than eight hundred entries that cover American fashions and style from the year 1600 to present day. Organized chronologically as a whole, each volume covers specific eras and provides a historical overview of the eras included.

This work is intended as a resource for both students and scholars interested in the history of clothing in America. The entries are thoughtful and summarize the significance and uses of the garments as well as the textiles used in their production. The treatment is expansive enough that researchers from a multitude of disciplines will find this resource valuable, but it contains enough introductory information to be accessible for beginners in the field. An entry that exemplifies this is "African American Clothing, 1715-1785," because it handles the topic of slavery objectively and manages to focus the entry on how clothing impacted the lives of slaves and served as another means of control over them. This is accomplished using newspaper notices for runaway slaves from this time period, which provide detailed descriptions of both the slave's person and clothing. Providing these primaries resources as evidence enriches the entries and provides a much needed connection to the lives of the individuals who wore the garments in question. …

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