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Out-Of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved
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Past Fashion Book Group Reads > Out-Of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved by Betty Kreisel Shubert (20th Century)

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Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 524 comments Mod
This is for the discussion of Out-Of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved by Betty Kreisel Shubert (20th Century). We will discuss the second half of the book on the 20th Century and beyond.

Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) eeep didn't realise there were two books - will need to check which I have!

message 3: by Jamie (last edited Nov 05, 2014 09:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 524 comments Mod
Hilary wrote: "eeep didn't realise there were two books - will need to check which I have!"

Not two books. I divided the discussion of the book in two sections. One to discuss the first part (19th century) and the second (20th century).

Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) ah right! *phew*, I haven't started on this/these yet as I am re-reading the fiction series first

Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) Just finished the whole book (wow there is some useful information in there!) this is a shoe-in for checking when I want historical information for costumes/clothes later on.

message 6: by Betty (new) - added it

Betty Shubert | 73 comments Hillary,you are right: This is the book that makes other history of Costume books...already in libraries...more easily understood. You realize that fashions do not just "appear" they EVOLVE. World events and social attitudes influenced what people wore ...and how people dressed influenced the world around them. Betty KreiselShubert, author/illustrator of the book, Out-Of-Style.

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 524 comments Mod
Hilary wrote: "Just finished the whole book (wow there is some useful information in there!) this is a shoe-in for checking when I want historical information for costumes/clothes later on."

Yes there is! I now try to analyze period clothing I see in movies and on tv shows.

message 8: by Betty (new) - added it

Betty Shubert | 73 comments Hilary!..You are entitled to feel smug when you can date a film by the clothes worn...A great example: The film ,Gone With The Wind ,took place during the Civil War, 1861-1865. bird-cage-shaped hoop skirts were worn. At the end of the war, the hoops changed to a triangular shape: The last scenes of Scarlett & Rhett Butler, show her wearing a triangular skirt: See pages 14-17 "Why Hoop Skirts Were Born: How they grew & why they died" Best, Betty Kreisel Shubert

message 9: by Jamie (last edited Jan 05, 2015 03:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 524 comments Mod
Here is the post I am going to do for my blog (I need to update the acclaim section):

Out-Of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved by Betty Kreisel Shubert

I got the book: I have a wonderful group on Goodreads called Fashion Book Lovers where I get to come in contact with an array of fashion lovers. Some are just ordinary people like me and others live their lives devoted to the art of clothing. One special member of the group is author Betty Kreisel Shubert who is "a theatrical costume designer with credits for stage, screen, television specials, ready-to-wear, Las Vegas musicals and Disneyland". She gave two books away, one a giveaway for the group and the other for me. I wanted to thank Betty not only for her generosity but for sharing her story and knowledge by writing a review on my new blog!

Overview: Out-Of-Style was written as a resource for "style clues for the fashion detective". Betty's long career in costume design gave her insight into the history of clothing and encouraged her to learn why fashions evolved. This book is not about "costumes" but about accurately dating clothing in a way that is both fun and educational. She explains the changes in fashion throughout the 19th and 20th centuries all while giving interesting historical facts and telling her own personal story. Betty's illustrations, over 700, are detailed but simple and organized showing the specifics that will help you identify a particular time period. The book is divided into two sections, the 19th century and 20th century, with some discussion on the 21st century. Each section has an overview then goes into more detail on women's, men's and children's clothing. Not only does Betty explain the changes in dress but she also explains the varying styles in hats, accessories and hair. Entertaining facts about the time periods are given throughout to keep your interest peeked. Each chapter can be read individually for a quick reference but I highly recommend taking notes while reading and keeping them tucked into your book. I love that Betty was able to find a publisher who allowed her to be herself because her personality shines through.

What I loved: This book is packed full of things I love and I do not want to give too much away. I found the section "Rise and Fall...and Rise (Again!) of the Bustle (Followed by its Final Demise)" to help explain both the quickly changing silhouettes and mindsets of the time period between the 1860s and 1890s. Betty's illustrations clear up this perplexing time frame. I loved the picture from 1916 of Betty's mother at the age of 18 posing for Elgin Motor Co. to show women could drive. This photograph is such a special piece of history to have and shows the social changes being made by women in the early 20th century. The impact on fashion because of this is irrefutable. The section talking about the circular knitting machine allowing for seamless stockings reminds me of a story about my Grandmother. She would always stand on a chair and have my Grandfather check to make sure her seams were straight before going out. Now it is almost impossible to find stockings with seams, which I believe are the only type worth wearing. Not only will you feel like a pro when it comes to historical fashion after reading but you will find out the connection between Teddy Roosevelt and the Teddy Bear, why Abraham Lincoln personally thanked a girl for helping him win the presidency and where a white wedding came from. Below I list some of the fun facts from Out-Of-Style.

Acclaim: Out-Of-Style is a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards in the Performing Arts: Film & Theatre category. FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) bought Out-Of-Style for campus libraries and Ringling College of Art & Design for a growing film program as well as libraries across the country. Betty is a regular contributor to's blog.

Fun Facts:
-Leg makeup came about because Nylon stockings where rationed during WWII.
-Queen Victoria's mourning headdress was inspired by Mary Stuart. Victoria mourned the rest of her life.
-The bikini is named after a tiny atoll in the Pacific decimated by atom bomb testing.
-Bobby pins were created to hold bobbed hair
-1908: Electric wash
-1920: Women allowed to vote nationally in the United States
-1920s: Zippers used in clothing
-1938: Nylon stockings
-1950s: Hairspray

The Negatives: First off, I love all the details given in this book and want more! I would love to read a book about Betty's life in the fashion industry. We need another book here Betty and we want the juicy details! I am thinking about buying a hardback edition because I plan on having this book for a long time. There is one personal picture of Betty's mother but I would love to see more family photos, work photos and fashion show photos. The book could have used more details when describing 20th century clothing because many young readers were not even alive during this time. The book does give enough information for dating photographs but I would personally love more information to help date vintage clothes. This could be a second idea for another book! Luckily we have access to a wide array of images and movies to help us along. I wish the men and children's sections were a little clearer. While reading these sections I had to keep going from the text to the adjoining illustrations to try and figure out which was being explained. This really was not a big deal but I feel the women's sections were a piece of cake thanks to all the notes that went along with the pictures. Overall the details given for the men and children are more than sufficient. We all know why we are here and it is because of the women's clothes!

Conclusion: Out-Of-Style is a great fundamental book helping you understand the basics which will enhance your ability to learn from other fashion history books. Betty recommends additional books for further research and I was surprised to find out I own two mentioned. The first is The Way We Wore: Styles Of The 1930s And '40 s and Our World Since Then by Marsha Hunt. This book is fabulous and shows a picture really is worth a thousand words. The other is the eight volume set of This Fabulous Century which covers the 1870s-1970s. I found the whole set in a thrift store for around $3 a piece. Two books I would add to the recommendations are Fashions of the Roaring 20s and Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s by Ellie Laubner. I also like the six books spanning from 1909 to the 1960s entitled Everyday Fashions of the (decade) As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. I hope anyone interested snags a copy of Out-Of-Style as soon as they can. If you have any questions or comments leave them below. Tell me your historical and vintage clothing stories! Like, subscribe and share my blog today!

message 10: by Betty (new) - added it

Betty Shubert | 73 comments Thank you Jamie, for your comprehensive & complimentary review of my book, OUT-OF-STYLE.I hope it will enlighten & entertain all who need to learn more about vintage clothes...It is the repostitory of knowledge from a long, productive career. This is the book I wish had been available to me as a young costume design sudent & later, as a working professional...Remember, if you buy my book on Amazon, send me your mailing address & I will mail you a decorative, personal autograph to stick into your copy. Best, Betty Kreisel Shubert

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