Clothing and Fashion
American Fashion from Head to Toe
by Mary D. Doering, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, Heather Vaughan Lee, and José Blanco F., Volume Editors; José Blanco F., General Editor
November 2015, 1786pp, 8 1/2x11
4 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-309-7
$480, £370, 418€, A658
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-310-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From the handmade items of the 17th and 18th centuries to today’s garments made of sophisticated materials, clothing provides a fascinating window into society and culture.

This unique four-volume encyclopedia examines the historical significance of fashion trends, revealing the social and cultural connections of clothing from the precolonial times to the present day.

This sweeping overview of fashion and apparel covers several centuries of American history as seen through the lens of the clothes we wear—from the Native American moccasin to Manolo Blahnik’s contribution to stiletto heels. Through four detailed volumes, this work delves into what people wore in various periods in our country’s past and why—from hand-crafted family garments in the 1600s, to the rough clothing of slaves, to the sophisticated textile designs of the 21st century.

More than 100 fashion experts and clothing historians pay tribute to the most notable garments, accessories, and people comprising design and fashion. The four volumes contain more than 800 alphabetical entries, with each volume representing a different era. Content includes fascinating information such as that beginning in 1619 through 1654, every man in Virginia was required to plant a number of mulberry trees to support the silk industry in England; what is known about the clothing of enslaved African Americans; and that there were regulations placed on clothing design during World War II. The set also includes color inserts that better communicate the visual impact of clothing and fashion across eras.


  • Covers the fashions of all economic levels of Americans from the indigent to the very wealthy, from T-shirts to architecturally sculptured gowns and suits
  • Includes hundreds of illustrations, sidebars, and primary documents to illuminate important areas of interest and encourage active learning
  • Addresses topics such as the formal wear of the Belle Epoque era, hairstyles of the Empire Revival, haute couture, and the evolution of clothes for teenagers
  • Presents four full-color photographic essays of clothing styles throughout American history
José Blanco F., PhD, is associate professor in the department of apparel merchandising and design at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. His current research focuses on dress and popular culture in the second half of the 20th century with an emphasis on male fashion. He is also interested in fashion and visual culture in Latin America. His published works include The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing through American History, 1900 to the Present as well as several articles and essays. He received his doctorate in theater from Florida State University.

Mary D. Doering is an independent scholar, collector, and guest curator who serves as adjunct faculty for the Smithsonian-George Mason University Masters Program in the History of Decorative Arts. Her published works include an article for Dress, the Costume Society of America's journal, as well as contributions to several Time-Life Books. She received her master's degree in art history from George Washington University.

Patricia Hunt-Hurst, PhD, is department head and associate professor in the department of textiles, merchandising, and interiors at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. Her published works include The Meanings of Dress, as well as several articles in the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Georgia Historical Quarterly, and Dress. She received her doctorate in clothing and textiles from The Ohio State University.

Heather Vaughan Lee works with the curatorial departments at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in California. Formerly, she was president of the western region of the Costume Society of America. Her published works include contributions to The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing in American History as well as Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style and Essays on Women's Artistic and Cultural Contributions 1919–1939: Expanded Social Roles for the New Woman Following the First World War. Lee also writes the blog Fashion Historia (


Best Reference 2015 —Library Journal, February 26, 2016

2016 Editors' Top Community College Resources - Reference—Choice, July 27, 2016

2017 Best Reference Source—RUSA, January 1, 2017


"Any library with patrons interested in these topics will find this set a valuable set to have."—ARBAonline, January 12, 2016

"The work is an expertly produced reference resource that will enhance collections supporting theater and apparel studies as well as programs in the humanities and social-science disciplines. Highly recommended. All libraries. All levels."—Choice, June 1, 2016

"[T]he scope of materials covered is indeed impressive and more than suitable for quick reference. . . . ­VERDICT For institutional fashion departments and libraries with interested patrons."—Library Journal, August 1, 2016
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