Sunday, January 22, 2006
From Rags to Riches: A History of Girls' Clothing in America
Sills, Leslie. 2005. FROM RAGS TO RICHES: A HISTORY OF GIRLS’ CLOTHING IN AMERICA. New York: Holiday House. ISBN 03417085 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-6]
Butterick patterns were such a hit when they were introduced in the nineteenth century that even Queen Victoria ordered them. Leslie Sills’ social history of clothing is full of fascinating details as she moves swiftly but thoroughly from Colonial times to the present. Illustrations are chosen with care to the pertinent period, and usually discussed in detail. Who today would know that Puritan children’s clothes were constructed with hanging sleeves or leading strings—or both—to steady or restrain them? SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL’S review concludes, “This visually pleasing volume will be useful to students researching American history, popular culture, or fashion, or just looking for a fun browse.”
Each time period is set apart with a differently colored background, simplifying navigation. The profuse illustrations include reproductions of paintings and drawings in full color, as well as representative black and white photographs. Full color reproductions of textile swatches further enliven the layout. Related facts and quotes are boxed for emphasis. Sills includes a glossary, extensive bibliography, webliography, museum and organization listings, and complete art credits, as well as an index.
Using magazines and original drawings, children can create a collage of girls’ fashions over time or in a specific period.
Interview mothers, grandmothers, and other women about what they remember wearing as children. How is it different from today?
Books about working children:
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. KIDS ON STRIKE! ISBN 0618369236
Freedman, Russell. KIDS AT WORK: LEWIS HINE AND THE CRUSADE AGAINST CHILD LABOR. ISBN 0395797268
By Julie Brinker