Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Fashion We Wore - Celebrating 70 Years of Everyday Style & Society in Britain

I spied this publication while grocery shopping this weekend, and after the customary leaf through the one at the front, I nabbed one from the back to take home with me. 'Fashion We Wore' is a souvenir book priced at £4.99 and published by Yours Magazine, normally the preserve of bizarre household tips, short stories about duck ponds, and pictures of people's chocolate-smeared grandchildren.

The book however is an excellent record of real British fashion from WWII - now, although the focus is most definitely on the 1940s and 50s. A few pages are dedicated to a timeline charting fashion across the eras with a couple of truly awful 1970s - 80s oufits pictured, but the bulk of the book is made up of lovely old mid-century photographs submitted by the elderly readers of Yours Magazine. Because of this there are not many pictures from before 1940 as most of that generation has passed, but the few that are included from the 1910s - 1930s are real gems, especially the bridal ones.

Each picture includes a small reminiscence about the clothes and the setting of the picture, and it really is wonderful to gain a glimpse into the lives and wardrobes of everyday British women. I especially enjoyed the ones where the clothes were homemade to keep up with the latest fashions, and the pride conveyed in the contributors' stories.

The book also contains features on style icons from actresses to princesses, fashion advertising of the time, and has special sections devoted to vintage beachwear, wedding gowns, outerwear, children's clothing, accessories and make-do-and-mend! I think it'd be great inspiration for vintage sewers or those who like to replicate an authentic vintage look, and it really is fantastic to see precious family memories of the past brought to life through the marvellous pictures of people's outfits.

I got mine in Tesco, you should be able to find it in any good newsagent or supermarket!


  1. This is what I get for by passing the "housewife" section in WH Smith and heading straight for the history shelf. Thanks for sharing this - I shall have to see if I can nab a copy!

  2. I normally pass by the housewife section too, but it caught my eye while the boyfriend was perusing his model plane magazines!

  3. Hey! just wanted to let you know that Heyday will be doing a black version of that jacket. =D So keep an eye on the site, if you're keen.
    -Andi x