Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping Up Appearances

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The British have always been concerned about accent, appearance and class, but at no time during the twentieth century was 'keeping up appearances' more important than during the 1920s and 1930s. From the impecunious youth anxious to create a favourable impression at the local tennis club dance to female office workers advised by the Daily Mail that women in business kept 'their position partly, if not chiefly, by appearance', we peer into the initmate lives and anxieties of the middle classes as they dressed to impress. Choices were influenced as much by the advent of mass production, economic stringency, snobbery and the influence of America, as by personal aesthetics. Seemingly insignificant items such as ties, braces, gloves and hats, could convey a lack of breeding if worn incorrectly. This engagingly written and illustrated book explores the social mores behind one of society's most popular activities, and reveals not only how we dressed by why.eye in for really earnest shopping, which was done in vacationsa#39;.57 The pitfall of mass production was that a wider class spectrum ... as oneMassObservation respondent, MissD., a female secretary in London, put it, wasa#39;goingto be a€œrun to deatha€ and therefore ... whoconsidered herself impoverished, admitted shefelt superior to those whohadthe money to dress well but not, inher opinion, the taste. Shedidfeel embarrassed when staying with her husbanda#39;s a#39;peoplea#39; who werea#39;very countya#39;.

Title:Keeping Up Appearances
Author:Catherine Horwood
Publisher:The History Press - 2013-03-31


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