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Fashion and Clothing History

1940s highlights

1940s overview

Researching the 40s


Sorry, there's no section of the library devoted to 1940s fashion!  

Searching for fashion by a specific decade can be tricky because the same time period can be described several different ways and information about a decade may be found in several different sections of the library.  There is no one phrase that will bring back all the clothing of a decade so try a few different searches to see what works.  Here are some suggestions of searches to start with. Get creative and add some of your own!

1940s     Nineteen forties     40s     40s fashion    Wartime fashion     The New Look

Here are some other tips for researching by a decade:

  • Search by designer, not designer by decade.  For example, if you were to search "Adrian 40s" you would find zero books.  However if you were to search for just "Adrian" then look through the many books we have on him, you would find plenty of his designs from the 1940s.  Because a designer's career can span decades, it's difficult to restrict a search to a specific designer AND a specific decade.
  • Search by type of clothing.  Looking for a 1940s wedding dress?  Instead of "1940s wedding dress" search for "wedding dress" then look through some of the books you find for images from the 1940s.  
  • Search by photographer.  Like designers, a photographers work may span many decades.  
  • Search by century.  A book that covers the entire 20th century may have a very good chapter on the 1940s with images you can't find anywhere else.

1940s in depth

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