Archive for October, 2012

Reintroducing My Primary Source: Life Magazine

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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.