Research Guides

LibGuides

Historic Costume 1900-1975

This page has a list of books, terms to use to identify additional books, recommended research databases for finding journal and magazine articles (as well as one online encyclopedia), magazines and newspapers owned by CSU, and links to Web pages that are of interest to AM363 students who are researching clothing items from the years 1900-1975. Anyone who is doing research on fashion or clothing from this time period should find this page useful.

Books | SAGE & Prospector (identify books) | Research Database (identify articles) | Magazines | Newspapers | Secondary Sources | Web

Reference & Circulating Books of Interest

These books are listed alphabetically, so read through it carefully. Most decades of the twentieth century are found in more than one location. Also, please note that most of these books are secondary sources.

  • The 1920s. GT596 .P383 1997 Morgan
  • The 1930s. GT596 .P384 1997 Morgan
  • The 1940s. GT596 .P3845 1998 Morgan
  • The 1950s. GT596 .P385 1997 Morgan
  • The 1960s. GT596 .P386 1998 Morgan
  • The 1970s. GT596 .P387 1997 Morgan
  • 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. GT615 .B2 1999 Morgan
  • 20th-Century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. GT596 .P433 1993 Reference & Morgan
  • 70s Fashion Fiascos: Studio 54 to Saturday Night Fever. GT615 .V35 2006 Morgan
  • American Dress Pattern Catalogs, 1873-1909: Four Complete Reprints. TT556 .A54 1988 Morgan
  • The Art of Fashion Accessories: A Twentieth Century Retrospective. GT596 .B335 1993 Morgan
  • Brides in Vogue since 1910. GT1752 .P76 1984 Morgan
  • Sears Roebuck and Co. Catalog. SF 5467 .S4 Storage 1960-66/7; 1972-8, 1980
  • 1908 Catalogue No. 117: The Great Price Maker. TS199 .S55 1971 Morgan
  • Everyday Fashions, 1909-1920, as Pictured in Sears Catalogs. GT615 .E89 1995 Morgan
  • Everyday Fashions, Thirties, as Pictured in Sears Catalogs. GT615 .E92 1986 Morgan
  • Everyday Fashions, Forties, as Pictured in Sears Catalogs. GT615 .E9 1992 Morgan
  • Everyday Fashions of the Twenties, as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. GT615 .E93 1981 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Early 1940s. TT555 .S555 2002 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Early 1950s. TT555 .S62 1998 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Early 1970s. TT555 .S63 1998 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Late '70s. GT615 .S57 1998 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Late 1940's. TT555 .S557 2004 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Late 1950s. TT555 .S55 1997 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Late 1960s. TT555 .S633 1998 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid 1940s. TT555 .S558 2003 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid 1950s. GT615 .S574 2002 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid 1960s. TT555 .S553 1997 Morgan
  • Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid-1970s. GT615 .S58 1999 Morgan
  • Fashions in the Groove: '60s & '70s. GT615 .P65 1998 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1920s. GT596 .H47 1991 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1930s. GT596 .C67 1992 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1940s. GT596 .B32 1992 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1950s. GT596 .B33 1991 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1960s. GT596 .C66 1990 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1970s. GT596 .H48 1992 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1980s. GT596 .C33 1990 Morgan
  • Fashions of a Decade. The 1990s. GT615 .F45 1992 Morgan
  • Franklin Simon Fashion Catalog for 1923. TT555 .C67 1993 Morgan
  • Men in Style: The Golden Age of Fashion from Esquire. GT615 .H63 1993 Morgan
  • Reference Book of Women's Vintage Clothing, 1900-1919. GT615 .L3 1990 Reference
  • Reference Book of Women's Vintage Clothing, 1920-1929. GT615 .L33 1994 Reference
  • The Sears Roebuck Catalogues of the Thirties: Selected Pages from the Entire Decade. TS 199 S435 1978 Morgan
  • A Shopper's View of Canada's Past: Pages from Eaton's Catalogues, 1886-1930. TS199 .E28 Oversz
  • Vintage Fashions for Women: The 1950s & 60s. GT615 .H373 1997 Morgan
  • Vintage Style, 1920-1960. GT615 .S65 1997 Morgan
  • Vintage Weddings: Resource and Guidebook, 1910s-1950s. GT1752 .T87 2001 Current Aware
  • What We Wore: An Offbeat Social History of Women's Clothing, 1950 to 1980. GT615 .M44 1984 Morgan
  • Women's Wear of the 1920's: With Complete Patterns. GT615 .C68 1998 Morgan

Etiquette books contemporary with the period of study also constitute a good primary source of information about dress norms, particularly as related to the early 1900s. To locate etiquette books published during a given year/era, do a word search on SAGE (using “etiquette” as your search word) and limit your result by year (on the intial keyword search page). image of year limit and change the default sort option image of search and sort option to or if you choose. (See also subject search for etiquette below. You may image of limit/sort buttona subject search after the catalog searches for the term.)

Call Numbers

GT500-GT2300 (history of costume)
TT496-TT600 (fashion and etiquette)

SAGE & Prospector

Identify books in the SAGE library catalog using the following SUBJECT terms. The terms work in Prospector, the Colorado Union Catalog. Current CSU affiliates may request items from Prospector libraries (establish a PIN in SAGE first).

African American women -- Clothing
Clothing and dress
Clothing and dress – Catalogs
Clothing and dress -- Social aspects -- United States
Costume -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Costume -- United States -- History
Costume -- History -- 20th century
Fashion -- History -- 20th century
Fashion -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Etiquette
Jeans (Clothing) -- History
Manufactures – Catalogs (see Prospector)

Research Databases

The encyclopedia and article-identifying databases listed here can be found on the Research Databases page by title (A-Z). These are available remotely only to CSU affiliates.

Art Online

Encyclopedia. Online version of Dictionary of Art Search: Dress, 20th century [see bibliography]

Academic Search Premier

Identify journal and magazine articles. A good number are full text, but images will not be available in HTML articles. Search: Clothing & dress. Click on the images tab to find photographs.

Design & Applied Arts Index

Identify journal articles and book reviews. Search: Fashion history; fashion and [decade] (for example: fashion and 1930-1939); Fashion and Clothing; menswear; womenswear. Look up the names of specific fashion houses, manufacturers, designers (last name first), and designer collections. If a designor name does not come to mind, do a title search for "Paris Fashion Show" (France) or a keyword search for "Olympus Fashion Week" (New York, USA)

JSTOR

Identify scholarly journal articles. All full text. Search: Fashion history; individual designers.

Magazines for Use as Primary Sources

  • Cosmopolitan/Hearst’s. 1886-1951. AP 2 .C8 1886-1914 Storage; 1892 Special and AP 2 .C81 1971-1977, 1971- Microfilm; 1990 issue Special; Hearst’s AP 2 .H4 1912-1914; Combined 1925-1945 Storage
  • The Delineator. 1922-1937. TT500 .D4 Storage
  • Good Housekeeping. 1891-1894, 1895-6, 1897-8, 1899-1909, 1909-1916. Storage; July/Dec 1923-1976 Oversz 2002-4 Oversz; 1982-2001 Microfilm 1983 TX 1 .G7 Current in Journal Room (2005- ) Online 1996- ASP (no photos)
  • Harper’s Bazaar. 1900-1918,1938-1976 TT 500 .H3 Storage; 1977-2001 Microfilm; 2002- Movable shelves; Current in Journal Room
  • House and Garden. 1923-1976. NA 7100 .H6 1923-76 Storage; 1977-93 Microfilm
  • House Beautiful. 1902-1976. NA 7100 .H65 1902/3-1976 Storage; 1977-2001 Microfilm; 2002-4 Movable Shelves
  • Ladies Home Journal. 1888-2001. AP 2.L135 scattered 1895-1976 Oversz 1977- Microfilm
  • Mademoiselle. 1939-1942, 1944, 1945-1976, 1999-2001. AP 2 .M2334 Storage; 1977-1997 Microfilm; 1999-2000 Movable shelves
  • Sunset. 1928-1969, 1973- . F851 .S95 1928-2001 Storage, 2002- Movable Shelves; Current in Journal Room
  • Vogue. 1928-1976. TT500 .V7 1928-1929,1931-1934,1935-1973,1974-1976 Storage; 2004- Microfilm; Current in Journal Room

Newspapers on Microfilm

  • Denver Post. 1894-2001 AN .D4
  • Rocky Mountain News. 1859-1947 AN .R6
  • New York Times. 1851- AN .N4 (also available electronically as New York Times Historical 1851- via the Research Databases page; note: some photographs and articles are not found in the electronic version of the newspaper)

    Searching New York Times Historical 1851-

    Specify a time period in the date range options:
    image of date range options in NYT Historical
    For example:
    image of date range in database of 01/01/1920 to 12/31/1921
    To look for advertisements exclusively, click on the image of "More Search Options" tab found in NYT Historical button on the advanced search screen.
    image of More Search options found in NYT Historical; has docuement type, author, sort, and results per page
    Change the document type to "Display ad." This will increase you chances of finding advertisements with pictures--although it may still be necessary to look at several display ads before finding images. Some display ads just have very large text, but no images. Later years will have more images.

    When conducting your search, keep in mind the vocabulary of the era. Women's clothes were also ladies; men also gentlemen, depending up the time frame. image of search: (fashion or clothing) and (women or ladies) The specific names of the garments might change too (undergarments, etc.). Again, later years will find more images--either drawings or photographs--than earlier years.

    One way to find stand alone photographs is changing the document type to Photo standalone:
    image of document type photo standalone option If a particular style of dress is mentioned in the caption of the photo, examples of the style, activity wear, or formal dress for that time period can be located. For example, flapper, skating, Mrs. (this picks up wedding photographs and society women dressed up at formal occasions).

    To be sure that the subject of an article is fashion or clothing of the day (may or may not have images), change the drop down search menu so that terms are searched in article titles only:
    image of document title search
    and under the More Search Options, search articles only:
    image of document type article This will bring up fashion news.

    "Report on Men's Wear" and document type Photo standalone brings up a New York Times fashion magazine from 1955 (twice), 1959, 1961, and 1965. Taking the limit for type of document off (keeping date limit at 1900-1975), brings up 180 records, which brings up the lengthy reports just mentioned, and a number of shorter articles with the title from 1956-1975 (as well as earlier articles on men's clothes). A search for "Women's Wear" brings up close to 400 articles.

    Use contemporary terminology whenever possible to increase chances of success.

Secondary Sources that May Be Helpful for Historical Context/Background Information

  • American Decades E 169.12 .A419 Reference
  • American Century. E741 .E93 1998 Reference
  • American Years, A Chronology of United States History. E174.5 .G753 1999 Morgan
  • Cold War America 1946-1990. (Almanacs of American Life). E741 .G75 2003 Reference
  • Columbia Chronicles of American Life, 1910-1992. E169.1 .G664 1995 Morgan
  • Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates. E174.5 .C3 1997 Reference
  • Modern America, 1914 to 1945. (Almanacs of American Life). E766 .G67 1995 Reference
  • Victorian America, 1876 to 1913 (Almanacs of American Life). E168 .S55 1996 Reference and Morgan

Find additional secondary source titles about daily life do subject searches in SAGE for:

United States Social Conditions 1865-1918
United States Social Conditions 1918-1932
United States Social Conditions 1933-1945
United States Social conditions 1945-
United States Social Conditions 1960-1980
United States Social Conditions 20th century

Web

A good place to look at clothing within a historical context is on the American Memory (Library of Congress) Web site. If there is a particular group, person, or type of event (e.g. suffragettes, Eleanor Roosevelt, baseball) you can observe the clothing that people are wearing (alas, not every item has a date attached, but neverless, many of these will be of interest). A search for "group portraits" brings up 5000 items (not all twentieth century). Or "crowd" and range of years, for example, "crowd 1960" will pick up images from the 1950s and 1960s (and other years, it turns out). Subjects found on records can be searched, for example: Women--Illinois--Chicago--1910-1919 brings up over 1600 photographs (tennis players, aviators, golfers, etc. This will be useful for finding activity dress such as: Women tennis players 1910-1919).

A number of these links below have pop-ups and/or pop-backs, so be careful. This topic appears to lend itself to these. Assume copyright ownership even when not mentioned here, unless specifically informed otherwise. As always, be sure to carefully evaluate anything you find on the Web.

Important note: Please use these Web sites sparingly. A significant goal of this assignment is to engage you with primary source materials. Additionally, materials posted on the Web often are poorly referenced and may not include the contextual information you need to interpret them.

Entire Century | Decade by Decade | More than One Decade (but not the entire century)

Entire Century

Items in this section will have references to clothing for the entire twentieth century. Find a specific decade within each site.

American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century. Bettye Sutton, Sue Goodwin, Becky Bradley, Charles Gillis, Peggy Whitley. Kingwood College Library.

By decade. This is a good starting point.

Christine's 20th Century Fashion Page. Christine Hawkins.

Pop ups every page. Many contemporary images.

Garmet Collection. Columbia College Chicago.

"The Garment Collection exists primarily as a research collection documenting the evolution of 20th century fashion. It includes women’s, men’s, children’s, military, and ethnic (non-Western) clothing, costumes, textiles, and accessories. This collection holds clothing from moderate to high price ranges, as well as, home-made, designer, and mass-produced items." Image of clothes. Search by designer, origin, keyword, origin, from between specific years, and type (hat, etc.); this may bring up only one item.

Decade by Decade

1910-19 | 1920-9 | 1930-9 | 1940-9 | 1950-9 | 1960-9 | 1970-9

1900-1909

1895 -1914 La Belle Époque. 1900s Edwardian Fashion History. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

"Costume history, Fashion history and lifestyle of the Edwardians."

1900s Fashion Pictures. (c) 1997-2006 by A. Bender. marquise.de.

Selected items have patterns. (Found on Early 20th Century Sewing Patterns page.)

Fashion in the 1900s. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD Museum.

Patterns and Images from 1900-1909. Copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey.

Four pages. Vintage patterns, catalogues and photos.

1910-1919

Fashion in the 1910s. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD Museum.

Essay on fashions of the day.

1920-1929

1920-1930. Fashion History of the 1920s. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

Multiple links within, listed on left-hand side.

Fashion in the 1920s. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD Museum.

Essay on fashions of the day.

The Fashion of the Roaring Twenties. The Authentic History Center.

Five pages of images. Most items hats or dresses.

Patterns and Images from 1920-1929. Copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey.

Vintage patterns and catalogues.

Mens Fashions of the 1920s. Written by Carol Nolan - Edited by Julie Williams.

Ladies Fashions of the 1920s. Written by Carol Nolan - Edited by Julie Williams.

1930-1939

1930s Fashion History, Costume Images and Social History. Fashion History 1930-1940. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

Multiple links within, listed on left-hand side.

Fashion in the 1930s. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD Museum.

Essay on fashions of the day.

Fashion of the 1930s. The Authentic History Center.

Photographs of dresses. Click on to enlarge.

Patterns and Images from 1930-1939. Copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey.

Vintage patterns and catalogues.

1940-1949

C20th Costume History 1940-1950 1940s Utility Clothing to Look. 1940s Fashion History. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

Multiple links within, listed on left-hand side.

Fashion in the 1940s. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). RISD Museum.

Essay on fashions of the day.

Patterns and Images from 1940-1949. Copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey.

Vintage patterns, magazines, and photos.

1940s Patterns to Knit. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Directions for knitting caps, pullovers, gloves, socks, etc.

1950-1959

1950s Fashion History, Costume History & 50s Social History. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

Multiple links within, listed on left-hand side.

Patterns and Images from 1950-1959. Copyright Mrs. Jennie Chancey.

Vintage patterns.

1960-1969

1960-1980 Fashion History. Pauline Weston Thomas. Fashion-Era.com.

Multiple links within, listed on left-hand side.

1970-1979

Clothes of the 70s. Copyright 2000-2007, by Charles R. Grosvenor Jr.

Alphabetical listing of items with descriptions. "'" items listed first.

Note: see the "Entire Century" links above, which cover the 70s pretty well.

More than One Decade (but not the entire century)

Attire for 1920s-1930s Events. Copyright 1999-2006 Grand Traditions Vintage Dance Academy.

Suggestions of things to wear to a period dance of the 1920s/1930s.

Staffordshire Arts and Museum Service. 1920-1940; 1950-1970; 1980-2003. UK.

Selected items from the museum. Click on image to enlarge and find additional information.

Apparel & Design Merchandising