As you may be well aware, I love fashion and beauty history! If I could study one subject, it would be this! I love how you can take a picture from any era (or painting!) and you can tell when it was made just by looking at the clothes. Clothes tell stories, fashion tells stories, beauty tells stories and I absolutely love it. What I don’t like, however, is boring books about it. So here are my favourite history books, for anyone who wants to start reading about it, but don’t know where to start.
The Style Me Vintage series is my go-to on the subject of vintage clothing, especially the 20th century. I wish there were more books in this series, but I’m really happy that there are so many in this series to begin with! The books are fun and written by people who know what they are talking about, with lots of pictures, tips and even the odd tutorial on how to get your personal vintage look. They aren’t too long and you can read them in one go, and I totally recommend these if you want to start reading about fashion history! You can buy your editions here!
Fashion in the 1940s by Jayne Shrimpton
If the 1940s is more to your liking, this book is a great way to start reading about it! It’s a short book, but full of pictures and it covers not only women, but also men and children, which is something that usually gets overlooked in fashion history (I don’t know why, it’s equally as interesting to me). One of the most fun reads and you can tell the author loves the subject, which makes the book even more fun!
Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty by Laura Slater
This is a great introduction into the world of vintage beauty. It’s compact, but full of pictures and lots of information if you are just starting out on the subject. It’s an incredibly fun read, and I read this book in one go. Nothing boring in this one! This covers the 1910s to the 1960s. I’ve got a review on this book if you want to know more!
Vintage Weddings by Marnie Fogg
If weddings are more your forte, this is a great one for wedding dresses! It has absolutely everything, it covers the early 1900s to now, so it covers a lot of ground! The book is an awkward coffee table size, so it’s too big to take with you while commuting, but it’s extremely informative, and even the pictures make this book worthwhile. If you need any inspiration for your wedding or if it’s your job, this is defs the book for you!
Face Paint: the story of makeup by Lisa Eldridge
If you are looking for a less white book (let’s be real, all of these books are very white orientated) this is a great one. It covers the journey of makeup to where it started and how it got to today. This book is huge, but it’s so worth the read. I actually read it several times as it is so great! It has amazing pictures and great coverage on all makeup subjects. If beauty is your thing, this book is a must-have!
Your Beauty Mark by Dita von Teese with Rose Apodaca
I can’t talk about vintage beauty without talking about this gem! Dita von Teese is a vintage beauty babe, and lives the life most of us want to live. This book is great, it shows how to achieve your personal vintage glamour, and talks about what women did during the 1940s and 1950s to achieve their glamour. This book does contain nudity (I mean, guys, this book is about Dita herself what else could we expect?!) but I totally recommend this one if you want to achieve your own vintage glamour.
These are some of my personal favourite books! Do you have a personal favourite on the subject?