Behind the Scenes: A blog post from 2006

Vintage Fashion

In 1985 my mother and I wrote our first book on vintage clothing. It was 27 pages long, a paperback book with fashions from 1900 through 1969. It was written for our antique car club for a “Ladies Luncheon.” Every lady that was dressed in antique clothes received the book. My mother had so much fun writing it that she decided to write another. It ended up very large and was still from 1900 through 1969. She was trying to write an antique clothing book that would help “old car people” to know what skirt went with what blouse with what hat, etc. In 1988 she decided to either publish or stop fooling around. In the next two years she got off her IBM typewriter and on to a computer. At that point she and I became LaBarre Books. We decided to write a book that would cover the years 1900 through 1919. Our first book was published in 1990. We felt it was a success because our original premise was fulfilled; it helped people organize and identify their antique clothes by specific years so they could know what they had and also helped when they were interested in buying antique items of clothing.

Our library of references for the first book was about 150 original magazines and catalogues of the time, and also a variety of dictionaries and encyclopedias. When we finished the 1930-1939 book in 2000 we decided to re-do the first book and make it in two volumes. This time when we wrote 1900 through 1909 we had over 350 original reference pieces, and a finished book covering 400 pages. This new book is approximately the same size as the previous book. If my father had not been fascinated with Model T’s and my mother interested in writing about vintage clothes, you would not be reading this “behind-the-scenes” account today and our books would not exist. We appreciate your patronage.

— Kay LaBarre Butler, 2006