Past Experience with Presenting in Front of an Audience

November 14th, 2012

In the past, usually my presentations in front of an audience went pretty well. In elementary school, I wouldn’t be that nervous but I’d be very quiet. That changed, however, after taking a chorus class  and a theatre class in middle and high school. Volume no longer became an issue, however, my nervous energy intensified. Maybe it was because my shoe fell off under the bleaches when walking up for a chorus performance, or maybe it was because my theatre final involved me being alone on stage under the hot lights performing a monologue that had to involve multiple character personalities…

Nevertheless, I suddenly became very nervous whenever I had to do anything in front of the class or even just reading aloud. That continued until I took a leadership position in DECA (marketing group) in my senior year of high school. Suddenly, for every DECA “social” I had to be with the other leaders in front of everyone, all the time talking about whatever field trip was happening or the DECA competition itself. That definitely helped.

Once I got to college and discovered I had to take speaking intensives classes, I’ll admit, I was not thrilled. Writing papers although difficult, seems less frightening than presenting in front of an audience, but every time I go up to present in class I just try and remember that I actually am prepared for a “presentation.” “Presentation” being like a performance but with less pressure for people to like you. Furthermore, I’ve made it through speaking alone on a stage with the teacher yelling “VOLUME” at you every time your voice drifts off and I’ve made it through talking to DECA judges during competition where they know WAY more about what you’re trying to explain than you do.

So, for presentations I’ve learned that I can do it. As long as I take a deep breath, remember that I know what I’m talking about, and that the awful feeling of my heart jumping out of my chest with every beat will settle down as I continue to speak.

Research Update

November 1st, 2012

Over the past week I have been trying to find the supports to my evidence I’ve found in Life magazine.

What I discovered is that newspaper articles mostly found in the New York Times are great supports because they are short and are to the point. They talk about how millinery sales increasing throughout the WWII period and how Department of Agriculture (so basically the government) sponsored cotton stockings for women instead of nylon and silk. I am still looking for lipstick details.

It becomes very clear that hats, stockings, and lipstick (once i find supporting articles) were staples in women’s fashion during WWII. However, as for my argument I am concerned about what exactly it should be. As I research I keep going back and forth between A) arguing that YES hats, stockings, and lipstick were staples in US women’s fashion and B) arguing that because of the war  the fashion industry purposefully pushed hats, stockings and lipstick (I would show the examples of diction and use sales as results and the pattern of ads)

Both options are closely related…and I am leaning towards B, but I don’t know if in that version I can talk about briefly the important aspects of each product and how it progressed…


Reintroducing My Primary Source: Life Magazine

October 23rd, 2012

Life magazine is my number one primary source for 2 major reasons:

1. Issues come out very frequently so patterns exemplifying importance of lipstick and stockings become evident, as well as the all new styling and creative work with hats.

2. Life magazine is a publication distributed throughout the U.S. and is written for the general public which means it shows what advertisers for the fashion industry wanted the to push to the majority of women in the U.S.

Some specific details I have already found to help my argument that hats, lipstick and

  • stockings were pushed as women’s fashion staples:  “economic size” tubes of lipstick (a fast and easy and cheap beauty product),
  •  hollywood emphasizing women with nice legs at coincides with the brand “beautiful legs” stockings to make the average women feel as if she could have the same legs as the girls in hollywood if they buy that brand of stockings.
  • pictures of hats becoming more ornate as a result of millinery not having restrictions

I plan on briefly trying to find newspaper articles as well that could provide the same information  but with a different perspective. Some challenges with using Life magazine is that it is online with Google Books which makes it accessible but reading information online can be difficult, and I find using physical books and magazines is easier especially with note taking.

Primary sources + Secondary sources

October 18th, 2012

By exploring  Life magazine along with a few articles either from the New York Times, Washington Post, or Chicago Tribune, I see the how the fashion industry pushed certain products to women during WWII. Collectively, my primary sources help answer the question that the secondary sources did not. (How did the fashion industry’s marketing strategies adapt and work with the trends and circumstances of the wartime in WWII?) Through articles in the magazine that describe the trends, such as hats, and ads that promote the consumption of lipstick and stockings, the primary sources give the “real world” evidence of the secondary sources’s arguments (that lipstick was a “secret weapon of war”, that new and different materials for stockings were monumental in fashion’s history, and that the fashion industry in the United States was doing what it could to survive). The constant fads with different styles of hats throughout the issues of Life exemplifies the fact millinery was not regulated and therefore a mean of creativity for fashion designers. Furthermore, the smallest choice in diction for the articles and ads has clearly been thought out by advertisers and retailers and the consist appearance of  hats (whether they are just in photos or featured), lipstick and stockings further shows that the fashion industry was pushing these products as staples for women to always have.



Most Valuable Secondary Source

September 25th, 2012

This is a very tough decision. I have books solely on hats, lipstick and one on nylon…but since I do not want to play favorites with my 3 icons (you know how fashion can be diva), my most valuable secondary is Twentieth Century Dress in the United States by Jane Farrell-Beck and Jean Parsons.  It is an overview of the twentieth century, but it is a detailed overview. Within the World War II section, the authors provide background information to set up the scene, and then break up the information into categories. The ones most usueful to me are The Wartime Economy, Retailing and Manufacturing, and Fashion Trends- Textiles, Hats, Shoes and Hosiery. These small sections include more than the other books covering the twentieth century. In addition to all that, I also believe it is valuable because it was recommended to me by Dr. McCluskey (teaches Fashion Theory in Dupont).


Farrell-Beck, Jane and Parsons, Jean. Twentieth Century Dress in The United States. New York: Fairchild       Publications, Inc., 2007.


September 17th, 2012

Usually, my form of note-taking is traditional- pen and paper because I find that I remember information better after i’ve written it down (or so I like to think).
However, for this class since my primary source is really only accessible online i’ve been relying on the Zotero app. What I do is when I find an issue with an article or ad or picture relevant to my research, I save it to Zotero and add a note (the note shows up under the listing) reminding me of why I saved that particular issue.

My favorite way of note-taking (I actually do enjoy it sometimes) is highlighting. When I have my own copy of a book and I know it’s something I won’t sell back I really like to highlight. Highlighting is great because it’s like fast annotating…mostly because I’ve learned to not highlight the entire paragraph. Highlighters also come in multiple colors and I can switch up the colors for the specific themes or topics I’m noting.
Sadly, all my books for my history research are from the library…and I know people will underline in pencil sometimes but I can’t bring myself to mark up an entire section of a book that doesn’t belong to me. So, instead, i’ve post-it marked the beginning and ends of the sections that are going to help me with my paper.

*Random-fact about my weird like for highlighting- I borrowed a friend’s copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I liked it so much that I bought my own copy so I could highlight certain letters that Charlie wrote.

20 sources

September 12th, 2012


LIFE, 1939-1945.

Fitzpatrick, Rita. “Tribune Fashion Show Ends; Throng Sees War Creations: Throng Sees Fashion Show Come to End.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963). Chicago, Ill., United States, October 2, 1943.

“1944 Fashions Contest Opens Next Saturday.” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963). Chicago, Ill., United States, December 26, 1943, sec. PART 7.

“How Women Should Wear a Uniform.” Good Housekeeping, August 1942, 21.

“What is a ‘Well-Dressed’ Woman?” Redbook, July 1945.

“The Mood Has Changed,” Harper’s Bazar, September 1944, 67.


Watson, Linda. Vogue Fashion (Buffalo: Firefly Books Ltd, 2008), 64-70.

Watson, Linda. 100 Years of Style By Decade and Designer; Volume 1 1900-1949 (London: Carlton Books Limited, 1999/2000), 36-40.

Welters, Linda and Cunningham, Patricia A. Twentieth-Century American Fashion (New York: Berg, 2005), 99-119.

Ewing, Elizabeth and Mackrell, Alice, eds. History of 20th Century Fashion (Hollywood: Costume and Fashion Press, 2001), 139-146.

Farrell-Beck, Jane and Parsons, Jean. Twentieth Century Dress in The United States (New York: Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2007), 108-131.

Walford, Jonathon. Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 2008), 60-81.

Handley, Susannah. Nylon: The Story of a Fashion Revolution (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 39-49.

Delano, Page Dougherty. “Making Up for War: Sexuality and Citizenship in Wartime Culture.” Feminist Studies 26, no. 1 (April 1, 2000): 33–68.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Online Museum. “Dating Clothes & Photographs from the 1940s”, June 24, 2011.

The Museum at FIT, 1940’s Collections, Fashion Institute of Technology, (accessed September 12, 2012).

Moeser, Vicki. “A glinpse of stocking: Fifty years ago, the first nylons went on sale — and women’s lives haven’t been quite the same since.” Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file). Chicago, Ill., United States, October 11, 1989.

Erenberg,  Lewis A. and Hirsch, Susan E. The War in American Culture: Society and Consciousness During World War II (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996), 28.

Nieder, Alison A. 20th Century Fashion: 100 years of Apparel Ads (New York: TASCHEN, 2009), 242-243.

Honey, Maureen Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda during World War II (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984), 130.  



September 11th, 2012

Bad Site   ( This site just awful. No works cited, and hardly looks legitimate. This is what you get when type in ” wartime fashion 1940″ into Google. Granted, those are not the best keywords, but this site was on the first page Google showed.

Good Site  (
I don’t know if I would cite any of the information here…although I believe the site is monitored by the Smithsonian. This particular post was also tweeted by the American History Museum, nevertheless, I think it’s a great site to see what other people have discovered or have blogged about, and then try to find it in a primary. For example, I found an ad for paint on hosiery in a 1940’s issue of Life magazine.

How did women’s fashion adapt during times of war? -Specifically World War II?

September 10th, 2012

That is my question that I will answer.

And Life Magazine has a bunch of answers.

Made a twitter for 299 also

September 8th, 2012

Here it is