For me, as a vintage clothing collector and wearer, old clothing catalogues are must have as they are gold-mines of imagery and info. Part of recreating a vintage look is understanding how an outfit was put together back in the day, and old catalogues are the best way to find this out.
The clothes people bought to wear to work, around the house, for vacations or for more formal or glamourous occasions are all to be found in Sears catalogues. Dresses, hats, shoes, purses and scarves, jewellery and stockings. These books are a wonderful record of exactly what people wore in the 20s, 30s and 40s and HOW they wore it. It can be hard to source original catalogues these days and most go for a fortune on ebay, so these three “Everyday Fashions” books from Dover Publications are great resource and not too expensive. I use them all the time as a reference. They are available from