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Fashion and Costume History: Web Resources

Interested in what people used to wear? Check out this guide on historical fashions and costumes.

Web Resources

Costume Page
A directory of thousands of costume and costuming-related links, for the benefit of those who make and/or study costumes. It includes sites for costumers, students, historical re-enactors, science fiction fans, dancers and theatrical costumers.

The History of Costume
"For students who are studying the history of fashion and for costume designers." Contains images from a book of 500 full-color plates showing "historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th century." 

Works of Art: The Costume Institute  
"The world-renowned Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum [in New York] possesses more than 75,000 costumes and accessories from seven centuries and five continents

The Costume Gallery  
Browse the extensive collection of photos, research Viking footwear and medieval dress, study a guide to textiles, and participate in bulletin board discussions here. All facets of costume and its history from textiles through hairstyles are covered.

Milieux: The Costume Site   
A directory of links about all the costume-related topics one could imagine. Research the history of various arms and armor, find instructions on making period costumes and links to suppliers, resources for costume materials, and organizations. 

Textiles & Apparel: Cornell Costume Collection     
Website of the Department of Textiles and Apparel at Cornell University, "which includes more than 9,000 items of apparel dating from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as a substantial collection of ethnographic textiles and costumes.

Fashion Plate Collection
"This collection includes 417 fashion plates from 1806-1914 from some of the leading fashion journals of the times." Stylistic periods include Empire (1806-1813), Georgian (1806-1836), Regency (1811-1820), Romantic (1825-1850) and others.

The Historic Costume & Textiles Collection at The Ohio State University  
“This site highlights items from this fashion collection, which includes "a range of historic textiles from the 15th century to 20th century furnishing fabrics ... [and] garments and accessories from the mid-18th century to contemporary 21st century. “