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The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman

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Originally published: London: Cassell, 1954.


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Originally published: London: Cassell, 1954.

3 review for The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Here are some of my favorite gems of wisdom from this little book on fashion: Age There is a slight difference in a woman's way of dressing before and after marriage, too. I would not advise anyone to wear big jewels and expensive furs before marriage. Elegance Elegance is not dependent on money. Of the four things I have mentioned above, the most important of all of them is care. Care in choosing your clothes. Care in wearing them. Care in keeping them. Emphasis [T]he whole of fashion is emphasis--e Here are some of my favorite gems of wisdom from this little book on fashion: Age There is a slight difference in a woman's way of dressing before and after marriage, too. I would not advise anyone to wear big jewels and expensive furs before marriage. Elegance Elegance is not dependent on money. Of the four things I have mentioned above, the most important of all of them is care. Care in choosing your clothes. Care in wearing them. Care in keeping them. Emphasis [T]he whole of fashion is emphasis--emphasis on woman's loveliness. Flowers After woman, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. Grooming Grooming is the secret of real elegance. Hair You can never take enough care of your hair. Handbags Don't forget, a bag is not a wastepaper basket!j Key to Good Dressing [S]implicity, grooming, and good taste--the three fundamentals of fashion--cannot be bought. Perfume When I was young, women used much more perfume than they do now and I thin that was wonderful and I regret now that more women don't use it lavishly now. Scarf A scarf is to the woman what a necktie is to a man, and the way you tie it is part of your personality. Shoes You can never take too much care in selecting shoes. Variety When you have a favorite dress there is no reason why you should not wear it often. The Way Your Walk It is ridiculous to wear beautiful clothes and then slouch along or sit in a slovenly manner so that they quickly become creased like rags. Yellow Just like the other colors, there is a shade of yellow for everyone--but you have to take the trouble to find it. Zest There is no beauty that is attractive without zest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Annelise Lestrange

    Review originally posted on The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange :) *~.Book Analysis.~* Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader :) PROS You literally learn how to dress well for ANYTHING and how to use your money more wisely when purchasing clothes. The man is a god, seriously. And he talks to all social classes, not just to women who can afford a Dior piece, haha! As a bonus, the reader also can enter Dior’s mind and have a glimpse of what was like to live and g Review originally posted on The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange :) *~.Book Analysis.~* Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader :) PROS You literally learn how to dress well for ANYTHING and how to use your money more wisely when purchasing clothes. The man is a god, seriously. And he talks to all social classes, not just to women who can afford a Dior piece, haha! As a bonus, the reader also can enter Dior’s mind and have a glimpse of what was like to live and get dressed in the 1960’s. Spoiler alert: thank God for Macy’s, hahaha! CONS As the book was wrote in the 1960’s, it’s easy enough to stumble in some old and dusty conceptions, but nothing worth of dropping the book. We just have to keep in mind that Dior, despite being highly advanced for his time, still was a man living in the 1950’s and 1960’s, so of course he tends to say inappropriate things for women of the 21st century. Just don’t let those small things get under your skin, because I’m sure he would be our number one fan in this century, no restrictions – he was already a women lover in his time, imagine nowadays that feminist is a strong deal =) RECOMMENDED FOR Anyone into fashion, anyone that desires to glimpse Dior’s notions of what was classy, but the book does focus on the female wardrobe, so… Women that love fashion are the special target, haha! 90% of what is in the book can be applied in fashion today. The guy was a genius.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bloodorange

    I read it so that you don't have to. The book is pretty and has very little content - all platitudes, some of them mildly interesting. If you really want to learn about vintage fashion from a vintage book, choose A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions or ABC of Men's Fashion. Sample platitudes: (view spoiler)[ Age As far as fashion is concerned there are only two ages – girlhood and womanhood. (There are also grandmothers – but it is only nece I read it so that you don't have to. The book is pretty and has very little content - all platitudes, some of them mildly interesting. If you really want to learn about vintage fashion from a vintage book, choose A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions or ABC of Men's Fashion. Sample platitudes: (view spoiler)[ Age As far as fashion is concerned there are only two ages – girlhood and womanhood. (There are also grandmothers – but it is only necessary to dress as a grandmother if you have a certain kind of figure and lead a certain kind of life.) Elegance {Elegance] must be the right combination of distinction, naturalness, care and simplicity, Outside this, believe me, there is no elegance. Only pretension.Elegance is not dependent on money. Of the four things I have mentioned above, the most important of all of them is care. Care in choosing your clothes. Care in wearing them. Care in keeping them. GroomingGood grooming is easier if you keep to simple, uncluttered lines.Individuality[Individuality] will be always one of the conditions of real elegance.Even if you cannot have your clothes made to measure, try to find the ready-mades that exactly fit your personality. PerfumeWhen I was young, women used much more perfume than they do now and I think that was wonderful and I regret now that more women don't use it lavishly now.RedIn winter I think a red coat is very nice because it is such a warm-looking colour; and if most of your frocks and suits are in neutral shades a red coat will go very well with them.Umbrellas It is a good idea to have one umbrella and many covers for it – then you can have a colour that goes with every outfit.HandbagsDon't forget, a bag is not a wastepaper basket!ScarfA scarf is to the woman what a necktie is to a man, and the way you tie it is part of your personality.ShoesYou can never take too much care in selecting shoes. Court shoes are good with everything.VarietyWhen you have a favorite dress there is no reason why you should not wear it often. It is much better to have few clothes but good ones (…)ZestThere is no beauty that is attractive without zest. (hide spoiler)] flag 5 likes · Like  · see review Sep 02, 2011 Carolyn James rated it it was amazing Shelves: misc This is a cute book to have on display around your home. It contains actual fashion terminology as well as fun tips to dress for your body as well as some cute little words and entries. Though simple on the outside the inside contains a lot of cool vintage fashion drawings to inspire all retro fashionistas out there. Quirky fun book to pick up and browse through. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Dec 17, 2015 Xialin rated it really liked it "Simplicity, good taste and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing."A very useful reference book for all women (yes, only for women). "Simplicity, good taste and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing."A very useful reference book for all women (yes, only for women). flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Jan 06, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it Cute little book with all of the definitions of French and common fashion words explained. flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Jun 04, 2019 Marjorie rated it it was amazing A charming small book starting with A for Accent and ending with Z for Zest, which apparently one needs to carry off fashion and life. This was written in and for a different time, long before throw away cloths became popular. C. D also speaks to the home sewer giving instructions on some of the pit falls of certain kinds of cloth. C. D lets his personality, likes and dislikes shine through his writing. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jan 09, 2019 Aryani Siti rated it really liked it A to Z simple advices and guide for fashion lover. Very useful. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Mar 13, 2009 Danielle rated it liked it a funny and somewhat insightful step back in time. it was first published in 1954. one entry discusses how many women should go back and learn how to walk, because it is "ridiculous to wear beautiful clothes and then slouch along or sit in a slovenly manner so that they quickly become creased like rags." Can you imagine what Mr. Dior would think now? a funny and somewhat insightful step back in time. it was first published in 1954. one entry discusses how many women should go back and learn how to walk, because it is "ridiculous to wear beautiful clothes and then slouch along or sit in a slovenly manner so that they quickly become creased like rags." Can you imagine what Mr. Dior would think now? flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 31, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it Important things I learned from this book: one needs a beautiful dressing gown b/c it is the first thing you wear to start the day; purple is for old women (I guess I have been old my entire life); everyone should learn to walk--"it is ridiculous to wear beautiful clothes and then slouch along or sit in a slovenly manner". Important things I learned from this book: one needs a beautiful dressing gown b/c it is the first thing you wear to start the day; purple is for old women (I guess I have been old my entire life); everyone should learn to walk--"it is ridiculous to wear beautiful clothes and then slouch along or sit in a slovenly manner". flag 1 like · Like  · see review Mar 08, 2013 Natalie Rochester rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition Overall, I think it was really cute book for someone that wants to step back in time and see what was considered good or bad dressing. I give it 3/5 stars because it was lacking in practicality. Would make a cute gift, but is not to be taken too seriously.Full Review: http://quirkygirllikesvintage.blogspo... Overall, I think it was really cute book for someone that wants to step back in time and see what was considered good or bad dressing. I give it 3/5 stars because it was lacking in practicality. Would make a cute gift, but is not to be taken too seriously.Full Review: http://quirkygirllikesvintage.blogspo... flag 1 like · Like  · see review Mar 07, 2020 Jessica DuBose rated it it was amazing By far the most gorgeous book I own. It’s simple, concise, and effective. I only wish I could own half of the clothes displayed in this beauty. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 26, 2019 Ashley rated it liked it Shelves: cannonball-read-xi Best for: Anyone who might enjoy a 1950s time capsule of fashion terms and ideals.In a nutshell:Christian Dior provides definitions and opinions on everything from collars to tweed in this 65-year-old gift book.Worth quoting:“However much you admire a certain frock or coat on somebody else before you wear a similar one yourself you must think to yourself ‘What will this do for me?’”Why I chose it:In April of this year I was fortunate enough to attend the Dior exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Best for: Anyone who might enjoy a 1950s time capsule of fashion terms and ideals.In a nutshell:Christian Dior provides definitions and opinions on everything from collars to tweed in this 65-year-old gift book.Worth quoting:“However much you admire a certain frock or coat on somebody else before you wear a similar one yourself you must think to yourself ‘What will this do for me?’”Why I chose it:In April of this year I was fortunate enough to attend the Dior exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. (https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/dio...) It was amazing. I wanted some memento and so purchased this little book, started it, and then promptly buried it in my nightstand pile, resurrected this week as I attempt to start 2020 with no half-read books.Review:I think my title for this review says it all: one can definitely tell it was written in the 1950s. Fur features prominently in here (fox, sable, mink - all are discussed, and the various virtues compared), the styles mentioned revolve heavily around skirts and skirt suits (I’m not sure trousers were mentioned at all), and every picture is of very tiny white woman. Additionally, Dior makes many mentions of what is appropriate for ‘plump’ women in terms of prints and color which, frankly, I have no interest in. Wear what you like!That said, it was a bit of an interesting time capsule, to read Dior’s thoughts on different aspects of fashion. Unfortunately, many of the definitions are less, well, definitions, and more paragraphs about how said item fits into Dior’s view of fashion. Which is fine, but it’s hard for me to assess Dior’s thoughts on pique when I’m still not entirely sure what that is. Additionally, many sections (such as hemlines) would have benefited from drawings showing the various types and their names.Still, it’s a fun little read, and I’ll put it on my bookshelf along with my other fashion and etiquette books.Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:Keep it. flag Like  · see review Jun 29, 2019 Sophie Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition “Everything I know, see or hear; every part of my life is transformed into dresses. They are my dreams, but they have passed from dreamland into the world of everyday items to wear…” ~ Christian Dior ♡After visiting the ‘Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibit, I decided to purchase this little book from my favourite designer.Dior emerged onto the couture scene in 1947 with his infamous “New Look.” This spellbinding collection revolutionised couture and has impacted womenswear up to the present day. S “Everything I know, see or hear; every part of my life is transformed into dresses. They are my dreams, but they have passed from dreamland into the world of everyday items to wear…” ~ Christian Dior ♡After visiting the ‘Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibit, I decided to purchase this little book from my favourite designer.Dior emerged onto the couture scene in 1947 with his infamous “New Look.” This spellbinding collection revolutionised couture and has impacted womenswear up to the present day. Silhouettes were transformed through an iconic jacket called “le bar” which, with its clean lines and hourglass structure, re-emphasised what femininity could be. The jacket was intended to be worn during cocktail hour in the bars of grand hotels.Dior would go on to influence Parisian couture until his untimely death in 1957 and his 'Little Dictionary of Fashion' he reveals an A-Z of ideas for any woman to follow. On each page there is something to take away and remember & I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you...🌸“Pink is the sweetest of all colours. Every woman should have something pink in her wardrobe. It is the colour of happiness and of femininity…”🌸“Deep in every heart slumbers a dream, and the couturier knows it: every woman is a princess…” 🌸“Perfume is the indispensable complement to the personality of women, the finishing touch of a dress…” 🌸“A ballgown is your dream, and it must make you a dream… wearing a beautiful ballgown you become a real woman; all femininity, daintiness and sweetness.” 🌸“After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. But being so sweet and charming they must be used with care…”🌸“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting…” flag Like  · see review Dec 09, 2020 Julie rated it really liked it Christain Dior was a genius. He understood fabric and color and texture and line and women’s bodies in a way that allowed him to accentuate not just their bodies but also their personalities. His designs remain timeless, they are still relevant today. It is somewhat ironic then to realize that he was very much a man of his time guided by the social distinctions of the early and mid-twentieth century. It is obvious in “The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman” that Christain Dior was a genius. He understood fabric and color and texture and line and women’s bodies in a way that allowed him to accentuate not just their bodies but also their personalities. His designs remain timeless, they are still relevant today. It is somewhat ironic then to realize that he was very much a man of his time guided by the social distinctions of the early and mid-twentieth century. It is obvious in “The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman” that he had a set of standards that were biased by a feeling of what was appropriate for a woman’s age, size, coloring (not just race or ethnicity, but her skin tone, hair color, eye color, etc.). We do not hold such stringent feelings today instead allowing women freedom of expression in a way they believe best fits them. I do feel Dior would be okay with this, however, because personality is usually the biggest part of what makes fashion work. The book is full of fashion terms and ideas. Dior’s understanding is useful and valuable if you can get past his mid century bias. It is ultimately a fun little read. If you like learning about fashion, the history of fashion, terms for the construction of clothes and fabrics, or the mid-twentieth century you will enjoy this book. I recommend it. flag Like  · see review Aug 20, 2018 Mariana Quesada rated it liked it Since this book was published in the 50's (one of my favorite fashion styles ever) it may seem a bit old for newest generations. Talking about hats and gloves which we don't wear regullarly anymore. But I loved reading about the sense of style and uses of different fabrics. For me the 50's were all about elegance and accetuating the beauty of the female figure, whichever size or shape it has. And this little dictionary describes how to use every element of fashion towards this goal. Since this book was published in the 50's (one of my favorite fashion styles ever) it may seem a bit old for newest generations. Talking about hats and gloves which we don't wear regullarly anymore. But I loved reading about the sense of style and uses of different fabrics. For me the 50's were all about elegance and accetuating the beauty of the female figure, whichever size or shape it has. And this little dictionary describes how to use every element of fashion towards this goal. flag Like  · see review Mar 21, 2021 Katrine Engelhardt Thomsen rated it it was ok Shelves: fashion, books-read-in-2021 I am really not the target audience for this book. But I did like that under the letter "I" the word "Individuality" had the following description: "No elegant woman follows fashion slavishly. If a particular new line does not suit you, then ignore it.There is no one line each new season, there are many lines - and it is up to you to exercise your own good taste in choosing the ones that are best for you." I am really not the target audience for this book. But I did like that under the letter "I" the word "Individuality" had the following description: "No elegant woman follows fashion slavishly. If a particular new line does not suit you, then ignore it.There is no one line each new season, there are many lines - and it is up to you to exercise your own good taste in choosing the ones that are best for you." flag Like  · see review May 12, 2021 Yi rated it it was amazing Shelves: reference, fashion, non-fiction Excellent book on dressing elegantly. Of course, the book was written in a different time, a lot of views expressed may not suit the modern fashionistas; but a great book on how to dress, regardless. Wish I had read this little volume when I was in fashion school, would have helped me tremendously in choosing the right fabrics and cuts for many of my designs. Dior was not only a fabulous designer, but also a good writer (I started reading his autobiography, Dior by Dior). flag Like  · see review Jan 26, 2021 Marlene rated it it was amazing Shelves: lovely-books This is a wonderfully written story on Christian Dior's way of style. He wrote this book in a sweet, irresistible, yet cunning way. This type of fashion has a unique way into my heart. I love that it is based on styles from the past, which I adore. A'lot. This booklet has nice and simple tips on dressing for all ages. Lovely read....for a girl like me! This is a wonderfully written story on Christian Dior's way of style. He wrote this book in a sweet, irresistible, yet cunning way. This type of fashion has a unique way into my heart. I love that it is based on styles from the past, which I adore. A'lot. This booklet has nice and simple tips on dressing for all ages. Lovely read....for a girl like me! flag Like  · see review Jun 20, 2021 Cindy Santiago added it This is a great book to have if you enjoy fashion especially fashion from the 50/60s. This book, though great to have, is catered to one women. A skinny petite women. That’s the only downside to this book. The photos are only white skinny women which isn’t really nice to see as a curvy Latina but overall I enjoyed seeing the photographs and learning new words from fashion. flag Like  · see review Jul 11, 2018 Linh rated it really liked it What i love about the book is the essence of every tips. However, if he can explain a little bit more, it will help me understand deeper. I read kindle version black and white then i can not see how fancy in the colors of Dior's costumes. What i love about the book is the essence of every tips. However, if he can explain a little bit more, it will help me understand deeper. I read kindle version black and white then i can not see how fancy in the colors of Dior's costumes. flag Like  · see review Sep 20, 2018 Carolyn Page rated it it was amazing I LOVE it! I've always liked the '50s, and here is a book by the head honcho himself! Interspersed with lovely drawings and pictures of Dior styles on impeccably groomed models. Good advice, too. Certainly I haven't seen anything newer that debunks any of this. I LOVE it! I've always liked the '50s, and here is a book by the head honcho himself! Interspersed with lovely drawings and pictures of Dior styles on impeccably groomed models. Good advice, too. Certainly I haven't seen anything newer that debunks any of this. flag Like  · see review May 08, 2019 Liselotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: non-fiction, fashion-history, owned Absolutely adorable! Just a shame they printed the book with black and white images, whereas the text next to it explains what colours the outfits are... Other than that it's just adorable, not groundbreaking, but cute! Absolutely adorable! Just a shame they printed the book with black and white images, whereas the text next to it explains what colours the outfits are... Other than that it's just adorable, not groundbreaking, but cute! flag Like  · see review Jul 13, 2021 A rated it did not like it Shelves: clothes I once found a copy of this for free at a local thrift store. It was pink, it had Dior on the cover. It had to be a small, timeless source of advice, right? No. It was outdated, it has almost no business still being in circulation except as a useful resource for historical scholarship. flag Like  · see review Apr 01, 2018 Magdalena rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-books Book that every woman should read <3 flag Like  · see review Aug 04, 2018 Kjerstyn Jordheim rated it it was amazing This was super interesting and helpful! flag Like  · see review Oct 04, 2018 Luiza Andrade rated it it was ok Great if your goal is to research on Dior's thoughts on fashion or post-war fashion culture - hence the 2 stars. It's an OK book, not too interesting, but utterly outdated Great if your goal is to research on Dior's thoughts on fashion or post-war fashion culture - hence the 2 stars. It's an OK book, not too interesting, but utterly outdated flag Like  · see review Feb 06, 2019 Rabbit rated it it was amazing Absolutely delicious; whether you agree with him or not, the consideration and attention to detail are wondermus and comforting. flag Like  · see review Dec 22, 2019 Florencia rated it really liked it It is indeed a dictionary. It is classic in its worth and a bit outdated. flag Like  · see review Apr 26, 2020 Emma C rated it really liked it Nice little book, good when your style needs a quick pick me up! flag Like  · see review « previous 1 2 next »

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