This was an ARC provided by I.B.Tauris via Netgalley.
A really interesting and fun way of understanding the WWI era is to look at what clothes the people were wearing.
Think about it! What are you wearing today? Does it reflect something about you or the era you live in? What are things we think about when we think about time periods? Clothes!
Think of Medieval times, all gowns and pantaloons and puffed sleeves. Then think of the ’80’s. Or don’t, it’s still a little bit painful.
There were loads of things that went into making clothing change through the war. Mostly practical and societal, but these factors nevertheless the times changed the way people dressed. Uniforms became a common sight, women started wearing *gasp!* TROUSERS and the hemlines got particularly racy.
Dressed For War goes through how Army uniforms evolved, what civilians were wearing, why fashion changed during this period and includes some really great facts about clothing in WWI. It also goes over the changes in fabric, which was both interesting and confusing to me, because I have absolutely no idea when it comes to such things!
Did you know that Hitler’s uniform as Fuhrer was directly inspired by how much he liked his WWI army uniform? I didn’t, but I do now!
The book includes lots of pictures, so you’re not desperately trying to imagine what the various costumes look like. There are quite a lot and they author jumps from nationality to nationality quite quickly, so the pictures are definitely helpful. It meanders between discussing the clothing and other aspects of life, which break up the text a bit and make it more interesting for a casual reader, and some of these things are illustrated as well.
If you’ve read war literature before, you might see some familiar titles in here, which was great. It’s nice to see a historical writer who sees the educational value in fiction!
If you’re into historical fashion and want to understand why it morphs through conflct, I’d definitely give this one a shot. It’s not a dense history text, so don’t be afraid to pick it up!