CLOSED My January Celebration and Giveaway CLOSED

RESOLUTION: Husband: "Joan's just rung up -- wants us to dine there on Thursday." Wife: "Tell her I'm not eating anything this year."

RESOLUTION (from January, 1931): Husband: “Joan’s just rung up — wants us to dine there on Thursday.”
Wife: “Tell her I’m not eating anything this year.”

I’m celebrating two years as witness2fashion, and reaching over 200 subscribers. Thank you all for comments, expertise, and encouragement, and for sharing my peculiar obsession with what people wore!

I happen to have found an extra copy of one of my favorite books: The Way to Wear’em: 150 Years of Punch on Fashion, which is Christina Walkley’s wonderful history of 19th and 20th century costume as shown in English cartoons.

Title page of The Way to Wear'em, by Christina Walkley.

Title page of The Way to Wear’em, by Christina Walkley.

I keep recommending this book, not just because the cartoons are enjoyable, but because Walkley’s explanations and her many quotations from period sources are really informative.

A sample of text from Walkley's The Way to Wear'em. She gives background for the cartoons by drawing on many sources.

A sample of text from Walkley’s The Way to Wear’em. She gives background for the cartoons by drawing on many sources.

Every cartoon is dated, with month and year. Walkley includes exerpts from diaries and memoirs, and background information to explain the cartoons, when necessary.

Scholarship plus jokes! What could be better? (If only I didn’t need a magnifying glass to read some of the cartoon captions….)

Chapters include:
“Domestic Bliss,” which takes a humorous look at “the servant problem” and social class:

From the chapter on Domestic Bliss. The mistress does not want the maid wearing hoops while cleaning, since they lead to breakage. The maid says she would be ashamed to let the chimney sweep see her without them.

From the chapter on Domestic Bliss. The mistress does not want the maid wearing hoops while cleaning, since they lead to breakage. The maid says she would be ashamed to let the chimney sweep see her without them.

“The Venus of Milo,” chapter is about changing ideas of the “perfect figure.”
“Poetry in Motion,” has examples of highly impractical fashions (men’s wear included:)

Men's fashions in 1925: the trousers called "Oxford bags."

Men’s fashions in 1925: the super-wide trousers called “Oxford bags.”

“New Bits to Show,” is about changing erogenous zones:

1934: Mummy.... However do you manage to think of new bits to show?"

1934: Mummy…. However do you manage to think of new bits to show?”

“The Way to Wear’Em” chapter is about the reaction to women wearing traditionally male clothing; the book’s title comes from this 1899 cartoon:

Fair Cyclist: "Is this the way to Wareham, please?" Native: "Yes miss, yew seem to me to ha' got 'em on all right."

Fair Cyclist: “Is this the way to Wareham, please?” Native: “Yes miss, yew seem to me to ha’ got ’em on all right.”

“Trinity or Girton?” expands on perceptions of “masculine” and “feminine” clothing. These young ladies have adopted the Ulster coat, and are “mistaken” for men (1877); exchanging the large shawls of the 1860’s for a practical coat that keeps them warm and dry was seen as unwomanly.

In a cathedral,1877: "Don't you think those youths had better be told to take their hats off?"

In a cathedral, 1877: “Don’t you think those youths had better be told to take their hats off?”

“Seaside Costumes” [Speaking of the earliest two-piece bathing suits, this cartoon is from 1934:]

1934: "I'm sure your mother would be shocked if she saw you in that bathing costume." "I'm sure she would -- it's hers."

1934: “I’m sure your mother would be shocked if she saw you in that bathing costume.”
“I’m sure she would — it’s hers.”

“Protest Clothes” covers unconventional fashions into the late 20th century. These two extremes are from 1878:

"Aesthetic Young Geniuses" and "Gorgeous Young Swells" in 1878.

“Aesthetic Young Geniuses” and “Gorgeous Young Swells” in 1878.

Giveaway rules:  CLOSED If you would like a chance to own this book — a used but otherwise good copy — please add a comment to this post, including the words “Fashion Cartoons.” One entry per person, please.
I’ll pick a name from a hat and contact the winner. Contest closed at 9 p.m. PST, Friday, January 8th, 2016.

Happy New Year to all! (And yes, I do identify with the lady at the top of this post!)

NOTE:  Please do not copy any of these images; I have used them only to show why every clothing historian ought to have a copy of The Way to Wear’Em, by Christina Walkley.

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16 Comments

Filed under 1830s -1860s fashions, 1860s -1870s fashions, 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Bathing Suits, Corsets, Costumes for the 19th century, Late Victorian fashions, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Swimsuits, Uniforms and Work Clothes

16 responses to “CLOSED My January Celebration and Giveaway CLOSED

  1. Michele

    I am rather new to your blog, but it has definitely become my favourite to read – you touch on so many aspects of clothing and history that interest me, giving great insights and fascinating information. The Punch book of fashion cartoons looks amazing & would be most fun to read (not to mention catching up on your earlier posts – so much interesting material!).

  2. Mary Still

    I don’t know how I signed up for this e-mail but it’s one I look forward to! I’m a long-time costumer and wig stylist so I just love the things you put in the e-mails!

    Thank You and Happy New Year! Mary

    >

  3. heartmadeforyou

    I enjoyed your post on the fashion cartoons and would treasure the book if I win it. Happy New Year!

  4. heartmadeforyou

    T enjoyed your post on fashion cartoons and would treasure the book if I win it!

  5. Gia

    I would love a chance to win this book of fashion cartoons! It looks AMAZING!!!
    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  6. Well, I usually don’t enter give aways, since I don’t believe I have good luck. But I would love this book of fashion cartoons. Scholarship plus jokes–irresistible! And maybe someone will do this for New Yorker cartoons.

  7. Nancy Alexander

    Fashion Cartoons! Fashion Cartoons! I would Love a copy of this book. What a great way to start the New Year. Thank you.

  8. Fashion Cartoons! Even if I don’t win I’ll be certain to be on look out for a copy of this fascinating book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Miaw

    Happy blogging anniversary! I love your blog, it is a goldmine. I would be delighted to win a copy of this book (so many Fashion Cartoons)

  10. Fashion Cartoons sounds just like the prescription for starting off 2016 properly! Thank you for your informative blog and the chance to win this book! Happy New Year!

  11. Shirley Miller

    I especially enjoy your writings on what people wore. We are fortunate to have, in our costuming group, a woman who collects and displays historic garments as they were actually worn. I’d be so pleased to win this drawing for the book of fashion cartoons. I’d love the give the book as a gift to Julie! Thanks for the opportunity. And thanks for the time you invest in sharing these insights with your readers!

  12. Interesting to read what the press was writing about fashion during the different periods. Thanks for giving us a peek at the book!

  13. Fashion Cartoons

    Congratulations on your 2 year blog anniversary, of which I am an avid reader!
    Happy New Year, Jenny x

  14. KB

    Always enjoy reading updates from your blog in my email feed! Fashion Cartoons are always fun to look at. The “new bits to show” one is cracking me up, particularly because I’m not a fan of the cut-out dresses that were so popular this past summer 🙂

  15. This fashion cartoons book has been on my wishlist for a while now because you have written so much about it! Thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway!

    I am far too many blog posts behind on your blog in my reader! I’m really hoping to catch up on some of them in the next few days of my hiatus. Your blog is one of my favorites so I don’t like rushing through your posts as they always contain so much wonderful information I want to retain! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  16. Congratulations on two years of blogging! Witness2Fashion is a wonderful addition to the fashion history blogging world. And yes, I’d love a dose of Fashion Cartoons as well.

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