105 books — 14 voters
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How the West Was Worn: Bustles and Buckskins on the Wild Frontier
by Chris Enss (Goodreads Author)
Fashion that was in vogue in the East was highly desirable to pioneers during the frontier period of the American West. It was also extraordinarily difficult to obtain, often impractical, and sometimes the clothing was just not durable enough for the men and women who were forging new homes for themselves in the West. Full hoopskirts were of little use in a soddy on the pr ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by TwoDot
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The subject is promising, but Enss fails to deliver on nearly every count. She may be a talented screenwriter, but she's in way over her head as a costume historian. Enss' attempt to capture the humor, outrageousness, and individuality of frontier dress falls flat with every poorly written sentence. The appeal of her subject comes through only in the newspaper articles and diary and letter excerpts, which are plentiful but still too few, and the wonderful photographs and printed ephemera include ...more
This was just what I was looking for as an author. It has great descriptions of the clothing, patterns and fabric type as well as accessories. I like how the book was organized between city woman and frontier, cowboys and miners, etc. The newspaper excerpts and photos from the time period were a nice touch. Highly recommend.
I enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit even though this is a topic I've followed for 20 years or so. Some chapters read a little slow as I wasn't as interested in the information, but it was still fascinating. The rugged West, like where I live, still follow some of the same rules: comfort and utility come first but we still like to see what's new.
I like to read Chris Enss. This bood was very interesting and kept my attention with the side stories of the "fashionista's" of the day. She covered the all of the man, woman, and child styles and the differences in wild frontier between social standings and even between territory and class standings. Entertaining and interesting.