Wartime Style

Fashion and American Culture During 20th Century Conflicts


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About the Book

This work is a comparative study of the three “great” American wars of the 20th century: World War I, World War II and Vietnam. The book explores several aspects of American popular culture, like fashion, film and societal mores. While a number of books have covered fashion during individual wars, this is the first study to compare several major conflicts, drawing some conclusions regarding the lasting influences of wardrobe over an entire century.
This book provides short background information for each war, briefly covering earlier conflicts that shaped the hostilities of the 20th century. Although the emphasis is on women’s clothing, participation and service, men are not ignored. Their fashions not only speak to the times, but the enormity of their sacrifices.

About the Author(s)

Lora Ann Sigler is a professor emerita of art history at California State University. She is a portrait/landscape artist and designer living in San Pedro, California.

Bibliographic Details

Lora Ann Sigler
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, glossary, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8718-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4840-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 3

One. Saluting the Past 7

Two. The “War to End Wars”: World War I (1914–1918) 13

Three. The (Reel) Time Wars 36

Four. I Saw It in the Magazines 52

Five. Post and Riposte: World War I War Posters 66

Six. Aftermath and Fore(war)d 75

Seven. Peace and Promise Deferred: World War II 93

Eight. On the Home Front 102

Nine. Keep Me Posted: World War II War Posters 115

Ten. Walking the Streets 124

Eleven. After(war)ds 137

Twelve. The ­Indo-Chinese Conflict: Vietnam 140

Thirteen. ­Anti-Posters: Vietnam War Posters 151

Fourteen. Hosed But Not Supported 155

Fifteen. Is There an After(war)d? 159

Epilogue 164

Appendix A. The Women Warriors 167

Appendix B. “The Light of Europe” 176

Appendix C. The New York World’s Fair: 1939–1940 181

Appendix D. What They Were in the War: Women Behind the Camera in World War I 185

Glossary 191

Notes 193

Bibliography 201

Index 205

Book Reviews & Awards

“Upon first reading the title, it seemed to this reviewer as if Sigler was going to recycle the same old notions about the connection of large social events, such as war and fashion. Within a chapter, however, it became apparent that the author was not doing anything of the sort—her analysis concerns magazines, posters, and films. Further, her writing is so lively and entertaining that it would not really matter even if she did retread familiar territory. … highly recommended”—Choice