Clothing from Various Eras

General Information

This guide is designed to help find resources in clothing history from different regions around the world by using both Internet and print resources. The primary focus of this pathfinder is Western fashion, but there are links to information on non-European clothing. This site is intended to be a helpful starting point to find information on costume history.

Places to Start on the Web:

Below are a variety of sites to start researching costume history and at the bottom of the page are links to connect to other directories.

European and American Costume History

The Elizabethan Costuming Page (http://www.elizabethancostume.net/)
The website is devoted to all facets of 16th century Elizabethan and Tudor costumes, dress and fashion. It includes instructions for making stockings, corsets, shoes, and other articles of clothing. This is a good resource for Elizabethan costume history and has links to other fashion history sites.

Real Regency Clothing (http://locutus.ucr.edu/~cathy/reg3.html)
This website includes many images of fashion plates of the Regency period during the early 19th century. There is information on appropriate dress for the time of day and the occasion. Also, the site includes details on fashion accessories and shoes. This is a good resource for costume history during Jane Austen's time.

The Costume Gallery (http://www.costumegallery.com/)
This is a comprehensive costume history website covering different eras and regions in the world. Also, the site includes information on historical patterns and obtaining materials to make costumes.

Greek Costume through the Centuries (http://www.annaswebart.com/culture/costhistory/)
This site has information and pictures on ancient Greek and Roman fashions. In addition, it includes Byzantine and Greek fashions from modern times.

NativeTech - Native American Technology and Art Leather and Clothing Page (http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/index.html)
Contains information about Native American history, clothing, and accessories. The site has illustrations of different tribal dress.

Non-Western Costume History

Costumes of the Levant (http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/600.technology/640/646/costumes_of_the_Levant/)
The site provides an overview with photographs of historical Lebanese, Syrian, Bedouin and Kurdish clothing.

A History of Kimono (http://web.mit.edu/jpnet/kimono/)
A joint project between the Japanese and Culture Network and MIT, this site has excellent pictures of kimono, which is the traditional clothing of Japan. The cut, color, fabric, and decorations of a kimono may vary according to the gender, age, and marital status of the wearer.

Print Resources:

Costumes and styles. 685 examples of historic costume in color.
Henny Harald Hansen (Dutton, 1956)
This book has a wide variety of color illustrations and provides a survey of European and American clothing.

Working dress in colonial and Revolutionary America
by Peter F. Copeland (Greenwood Press, 1977)
A good resource for learning what workers wore during the 18th century. The books has illustrations of people representing a range of professions.

Other Resources:

Also investigate the resources listed in Yahoo under Fashion and History.

Additional resources can be found at public and university libraries under call numbers in the 300s of the Dewey Decimal Classification System and in the GT section of the Library of Congress Classification System. Useful resources may also be found under the following Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Costume-Design—History
Costume—History
Costume—Africa
Costume—Asia
Costume—Europe
Costume—United States
Fashion—History


This pathfinder created by Kristen Arbutiski.