Taking Fashion Cues from 1930s/40s Nancy Drew

by Intern Jessica Butler

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a bit of a Nancy Drew nerd. When I was little, I would usually read one book from the series a day, curling up underneath my covers until the late hours of the night with my flashlight in hand, so my parents wouldn’t know I was still awake, finishing the remaining chapters. I eventually started creating my own “spy gear,” sneaking around the house (unsuccessfully), attempting to find a mystery to solve. I played the Nancy Drew computer games, watched every episode of the 1970s TV series and now I’m looking to the lady herself for some fashion inspiration. Throughout the 1930s and ’40s, illustrator Russell H. Tandy created nearly all of the dust covers for the series, establishing a distinguished style for Nancy. From the looks of these covers, this Russell Tandy guy must’ve been a pretty well-dressed gent. The illustrations are a perfect reference for women’s fashion of the past, chronicling popular styles among young ladies in the ’30s and ’40s. Whether she’s running after a criminal or investigating a burning building, Nancy’s consistently dressed to the nines. Thank you, Nancy Drew, for always being rad. 

Image source: Nancy Drew Sleuth

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