Cover image for Dressed for the occasion : what Americans wore 1620-1970
Dressed for the occasion : what Americans wore 1620-1970
Miller, Brandon Marie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Lerner Publications, [1999]

Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Examines the history, manufacture, and care of American clothing from colonial times to the 1970s and discusses its relationship to the social milieu.
Reading Level:
1030 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.4 2.0 4398.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.4 6 Quiz: 35054 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT605 .M55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Supports the national curriculum standards Culture; Time, Continuity, and Change; Individual Development and Identity; Production, Distribution, and Consumption; and Science Technology and Society as outlined by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Although this is a whirlwind tour of men's and women's fashion, there's nothing slipshod about it, and it is full of nifty facts. The Puritans banned silk roses on shoes in the mid-1650s; eighteenth-century parents, obsessed with their children's posture, both put girls and boys in corsets. We learn that the "powder room" was originally a special room for men and women to have great quantities of powder put on their oiled hair, and we learn how very recent is the concept of clean bodies, let alone clean clothes. Miller notes how often women's dress was designed to constrain and hobble females: the Victorian woman may have been considered fragile, but she wore about 20 pounds of clothing. The bobbed hair and short chemise dresses of the 1920s were truly shocking after centuries of constriction. There's a wonderful bit about the gulf between the clean-cut look of the 1950s and the greaser look of James Dean and, later, Elvis Presley, and a sobering look at the crumbling of deep mourning clothes when so many women would have been obliged to wear them after World War I. Entertaining, fascinating, and replete with captivating bits. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-An excellent overview. Miller not only tells what Americans wore, but why. She frames her information within a socioeconomic context as she relates fashion to the larger culture in a vivid portrait of self-expression by its wearers. Evening, work, leisure, children's attire, and mourning clothes are covered as well as Native American dress. Interesting tidbits, such as what was under those hoop skirts, enliven the presentation. The text is highlighted with sepia-toned reproductions and photographs. Refer students needing more in-depth information on narrower periods of history to titles such as Bobbie Kalman's 19th Century Clothing (1993) and 18th Century Clothing (1993), and Bobbie Kalman and David Schimpky's Children's Clothing of the 1800s (1995, all Crabtree).-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.