What Shall I Wear?Abrams Books
First published in 1956, What Shall I Wear is revolutionary fashion designer Claire McCardell’s collection of fashion wisdom and philosophy and a vivacious guide to looking effortlessly stylishClaire McCardell, the revolutionary fashion designer credited with originating “The American Look,” designed for the emerging active lifestyle of women in the 1940s and ’50s. She was the originator of mix-and-match separates, open-back sundresses, and feminine denim fashion; she started the trend for ballet flats as a wartime leather-rationing measure. Spaghetti straps, brass hooks and eyes as fasteners, rivets, menswear details and fabrics—they were all started by McCardell. Her monastic and popover dresses achieved cult status, and her fashions were taken up by working women, the suburban set, and high society alike.First published in 1956, What Shall I Wear? provides a glimpse into the sources of McCardell’s inspiration—travel, sports, the American leisure lifestyle, and her own closet—and how she transformed them into fashion while still approaching design from her chosen vantage point of usefulness. A retro treat for designers and anyone who loves fashion, both vintage and contemporary, the book is teeming with charming illustrations and still-solid advice for finding your own best look, creatively shopping on a budget, and building a real wardrobe that is chic and distinctive. What Shall I Wear? is a tribute to the American spirit in fashion.