THE LOST ART OF DRESS

The Lost Art of Dress tells the story of the women who taught Americans how to dress beautifully, efficiently, and thriftily for the 20th Century. The Dress Doctors offered advice on radio broadcasts, at women's clubs, and in magazines. They enlisted the federal government in their efforts through the Bureau of Home Economics. Millions of girls read their books in home economics classes and 4-H clothing clubs. But the Dress Doctors came under attack in the 1960s, and their lessons were lost. Until now.

From Basic Books


Available now at your local Independent bookstore,


And online,


Read the Notre Dame Magazine feature article on the book project.

                          Linda Przybyszewski, PhD

Historian of U.S. Law, Culture, and Dress


Praise for The Lost Art of Dress

 "This entertaining read is funny, opinionated, and full of useful wisdom--much like the Dress Doctors themselves."Library Journal     "...essential reading for all fashion history students as well as everyone interested in fashion.”Claire Shaeffer, author of Couture Sewing Techniques .  “An invaluable resource of inspiration. The Lost Art of Dress calls us to resurrect our stylish roots and bring tasteful beauty back to our everyday routine.” Jennifer L. Scott, author of Lessons from Madame Chic.  ... shines a much-needed spotlight on a contingent of forgotten professionals and the role they played in dressing American women with style." Kirkus Reviews   "... an imaginative journey through a largely forgotten universe of women writers in the twentieth century ”Lois Banner, Professor Emerita, Dept. of History and Gender Studies Program, University of Southern California, author of Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox.  

“This is an important work." Patricia Cunningham, Associate Professor Emerita of Fashion and Retail Studies, Ohio State University.

“...most delightfully and fragrantly packed.” New York Times                                  “[A] fascinating and valuable book”   Boston Globe 

A witty look at well-dressed women and a defense of the classic home-economics course." Columbus Dispatch