A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2002 - Design - 272 pages
While fashions of the rich and famous have been endlessly chronicled, little attention has been paid to the meaning of clothes for everyone else. Yet between 1890 and 1940, as ready-to-wear came into its own, fashion for ordinary Americans played an increasingly important role in shaping the national character. Drawing on advertisements and health manuals, sermons and songs, acclaimed historian Jenna Weissman Joselit shows how the length of a woman's skirt, the shape of a man's hat, and the height of a pair of heels enabled citizens of every faith, color, and class to feel part of the modern nation.

Engaging, imaginative, and original, A Perfect Fit uncovers a time in our history when getting dressed was more about fitting in than standing out.
 

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A PERFECT FIT: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America

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Fashion meets politics—and gets a little frayed in the encounter.Cultural historian Joselit (The Wonders of America, not reviewed) examines American clothing styles from 1890 to 1930 as an expression ... Read full review

A perfect fit: clothes, character, and the promise of America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Broad changes in social attitudes have a corresponding impact in the way we dress the cultural upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, for example, showed itself in tie-dyed shirts, bell-bottoms, platform ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
A la Mode
7
Down with the Corset and Up with the Hemline
43
The Mark of a Gentleman
75
Where Did You Get That Hat?
101
Oh My Aching Feet
129
The Truth about Fur
149
Say It with Jewelry
171
Emphatically Modern
189
Notes
197
Illustration Credits
239
Acknowledgments
241
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Jenna Weissman Joselit is currently visiting professor of American studies at Princeton University and the author of numerous works of cultural history, including The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture 1880-1950 (winner of the Jewish Book Award in History). Joselit has also curated and consulted on more than thirty exhibitions throughout the country. She lives in New York City.

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