Although I'm looking at this book from a genealogy perspective - as a reference to help me date old family photos - I've also found it a fascinating look at the fashion fads of years gone by. It's an amazing reference, offering beautifully drawn illustrations combined with a running commentary describing how small differences in the shape of a sleeve or length of a hem can pinpoint a photograph to within a year or two. It begins in the 1830s and continues into the 1960s. [Thank you, Betty, for not forcing us to take another look at the leisure suit.]Both the index and table of contents make it easy to find a particular period or fashion component when looking for elements from the photograph I'm researching. I've had no problem finding the information I needed for my research. However, it is easy to get distracted with the many fascinating tidbits of fashion history. Betty's commentary is both informative and delightful as she offers delicious social tidbits in with the fashion facts. The illustrations are quite detailed and she often includes spot drawings to show even more - like the evolution of sleeve styles within a specific decade. There are notes associated with almost every drawing describing the important features and the time range associated with each. Even accessories and shoes are included in the discussion.This book would be a welcome addition to any genealogical society's research library. It now has a permanent place in my personal library and will be used often as I continue to organize and index my family's photo archives.