British Working Dress:
Occupational Clothing 1750-1950
This month my third book has been published: British Working Dress: Occupational Clothing 1750-1950
This isn’t the first book to be written about occupational dress, but with a gap of nearly 30 years since the last publication, this guide includes new material and is aimed at family historians researching their ancestors’ working lives, as well as costume history enthusiasts and readers interested in social history.
Generously illustrated with 85 historic images including paintings, prints, engravings, photographs and items of surviving dress, the book also draws on contemporary written sources and other historical studies to trace the development of male and female work wear in the main occupations that employed earlier generations between the mid-18th and mid-20th centuries.
British Working Dress is arranged into convenient chapters covering Agriculture; Fishing; Domestic Service; Transport; Public Service; Industry and Manufacturing; Crafts and Trades and includes the dress of many categories of workers from shepherds, through butlers, fish wives, miners, textile mill workers and tram drivers to policemen and shopkeepers. There is also a useful Glossary of garment and textile terms.
Although working dress was often a practical modification of everyday clothing, special protective garments were introduced for certain tasks, such as reinforced boots and hard helmets. For jobs that required a recognisable, standardised public image – chiefly domestic service, the public services and transport – a uniform mode of dress developed. This book is the first to track and depict visually in detail the evolution of the occupational outfits known today as civilian uniforms.
The book is available from the Publisher