Review: “1940s Style Guide” by The Vintage Dancer


I ran across this book in the midst of what seems like endless time spent researching vintage fashion and beauty, and I lusted after it for a while and caved in to buying it. And must I say, I am so glad I did buy this – it is a book I intend on having in my vintage reference library for a long time!

The author’s real name is Debbie Wells (A.K.A. The Vintage Dancer), and she divulges into every aspect of the fashion of the forties as much as possible. She talks about dresses, the styles of them, what fabrics they are made of, and their shorter length during the war and its rationing that had an effect on everything; she goes into the intricacies of swimsuits, and talks about when the bikini came out and how that affected the world. She goes into shoes, hair, makeup, popular colours, undergarments/foundation garments, hats, where to shop, sewing from a vintage pattern, and so much more. I was so interested in what this book had to say that I just kept picking it back up every time I would put it down because I wanted to know more.

The photographs are a great supplement to this guide as well! She offers a lot of images for you to inspect, and to see examples of exactly what she is talking about. Not sure about something she is talking about? Surely there is an image on the side that illustrates it, and it will help you understand. It enriches the whole book, and seemingly every image is advertising a work of art.

What I love about this book the most is that Wells gives you websites and ideas about how to get the look yourself. There are websites aplenty, and in every price range as well. I still haven’t gone through everything, and I don’t know if I ever will! I was very impressed with her section on vintage sewing, how to approach vintage patterns, and where to find vintage fabrics and patterns. I intend on beginning to sew my own clothes based on vintage patterns at some point in the near future, and her suggestions in the book really gave me some great insight and ideas. I am excited to execute them and see what happens.

Of course, you know what I am going to say – go buy this book! You can buy it on The Vintage Dancer’s site for $21, or you can find it on Amazon. Also, if you buy the print book I saw that if you e-mail Wells she will send you the PDF of the book as well for free for you to have as a reference. You will keep checking back to this book for reference or ideas, and surely you will be marking pages and checking sites that she has made note of. A great find, a great book!

2 comments on “Review: “1940s Style Guide” by The Vintage Dancer

  1. Black Dahlia says:

    I’ve been thinking of purchasing this book, but wasn’t sure. Thank you for letting us know what it’s like. It’s on my ‘must have’ list now. ;0

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