Costume Resources - A Limited Bibliography

    Where possible, I've included the Library of Congress call number with each volume. If your library uses the same system (as opposed to the Dewey Decimal System) you should be able to find the book simply with that number. One of these days, I'll get around to adding ISBN numbers, or you can buy most of these titles and few others that I recommend via my Amazon Referral Page - which I've kept far more up to date than this page, I'm afraid!

Title: 20th Century Fashion - The Complete Sourcebook
Author: John Peacock, 1995.
Call No: GT596.P43
Précis: Fashions of English and American men and women of the 20th Century
Comments: This is a slender volume, primarily lavish full-color illustrations, as well as simplified line drawings with notes on color and form. This book covers both men's and women's fashion, broken down by major periods of about a decade or so. Items illustrated cover everything from daywear, to formal eveningwear, to accessories and underthings for both sexes. Very handy for the casual costumer who is seeking specific information about the 'look' of a period.

Title:
Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook
Author: John Peacock, 1994
Call No: ?? I can't read my handwriting on this one, but it should be in the area of GT596.
Précis: Fashions of American and English gentleman throughout the 20th Century.
Description: This is a companion book to 20th Century Fashion by the same author, and is presented in precisely the same style. Lavish, detailed illustrations are augmented by simpler line drawings, accompanied by a careful written description. Clothing is sorted by trends of about a decade or so, each, with some overlap. Illustrations include formal, day and sports wear, as well as underclothes and accessories. A great resource for 20th Century men's costuming.

Title: The Golden Age of Style
Author: Julian Robinson, 1976
Call No: GT596.R6
Précis: Discussion and illustration of Western male and female fashion of the past 1,000 years.
Comments: This is a large volume, of both text and pictures - many illustrations taken from period resources - covering European clothing of the past 1,000 years.

Title:
Ages of Elegance: Five Thousand Years of Fashion and Frivolity
Author: London, MacDonald & Co., 1968
Call No: GT510.A813
Précis: Exhaustive illustration and discussion of Western fashions of the past 5,000 years.
Comments: This large volume covers a long period - 5,000 years - with its emphasis on high fashion of men and women, in Europe and the Mediterannean. There is a lot of text, with particular attention to fabrics and influence behind trends. Most illustrations are taken from period sources.

Title: The Common Man Through The Centuries
Author: ??
Call No: GT720.B37
Précis: Drawings of clothing worn by commoners of Europe from the time of Ancient Rome, onwards.
Description: This is a collection of contemporary line drawings illustrating the wear of the common man, both peasantry and townfolk, from 400BC to 1800AD. This book is a good break from the high-fashion emphasis of most history-of-fashion volumes, and a very handy starting point for anyone seeking to make Rennaisance/Middle Ages costumes.

Title:
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion From 1066 To The Present.
Author: Jack Cassin-Scott
Call No: GT513 C37
Précis: The title really says it all. Western/European emphasis.
Description: This book is very much like an expanded version of the volume described above. It has the advantage of being in full color (unlike 'Common Man'), but emphasizes women far more than men. A good resource for Rennaisance Faire Costumers.

Title:
20,000 Years of Fashion - The History of Costume and Personal Adornment
Author: Francois Boucher
Call No: TT503 B67
Précis: A presentation of clothing for men, women, and children of Europe and the Orient, from the 5th Century BC to the present.
Description: This book is worth looking at - although its sheer size and weight may throw your back out. Unlike most volumes that I've found, that focus on European and American fashion, this volume also examines the costuming of the ancient Mediterranean and Asia, as well as Europe. There are lots of illustrations accompanying the text, and this volume has some particularly fine illustrations of accessories worn from period to period. The book is divided into manageable categories for men, women, military, commoner, children, etc.

Title:
Mirror, Mirror: A Social History of Fashion
Author: Michael and Ariane Batterberry
Call No: GT511 B37
Précis: Illustration of historical costuming of Greece and near East, accompanied by commentary upon fashion as a reflection of politics.
Description: This book is worth examining for its emphasis on clothing of the Near East, Greece, Rome and Byzantium. The social commentary - explaining and discussing how fashion is a reflection of political and social movements - is worth reading.

Title: The Concise History of Costume and Fashion
Author: ??
Call No: GT510 L286
Précis: Cleanly written, illustrated guide to European fashions from the high middle ages to the modern day. Emphasis on European women's' garb.
Description: Indeed, this volume is quite concise, terse even. It includes many period illustrations and examples of the garb of European men and women from the middle ages, onwards. The emphasis is upon courtly garb worn by ladies. This is another good resource for a Renaissance Faire costumer looking for ideas.

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email: jo(at)skaro.com