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RFM 1600: Color Theory

To aid students of Trina Gannon's 1600

You Will Go to Google First...

...and that's OK, we all do that.  But there's a problem.

But once you've hit the search button, you have to turn on your critical brain.  

As an example, here are some websites students often use for costume history, but are not, on closer inspection, authoritative.  

  • : commercial site with no listed authors. 
  • : as near as I can discern, this is an extended advertisement by a hobbyist for a blog platform called SBI.  No dates, no bibliographies, a lot of informal opinions, etc.  
  • : Again, no author, no authority, no dates, no bibliographies.  The blog section has various authors, including Eli: "Eli Phipps is in 8th grade. He is 14 years old and likes to read about history, sports and collectibles. He also loves to play baseball and take his dog for a walk."  
  • : While they have many pages that offer costume history info, their main focus is to sell repro clothing.  
  • : A nice looking site, a labor of love, evidently by someone who passes away a few years ago. Her brother keeps it up now.  Nothing here tells me about the credentials of either person. 
  • is a good-looking website managed by a hobbyist. 
  • : no author info available, terrible grammar problems.

These appear to be Content Farms: the info here seems to be OK, but not of really high quality. These sites are built to get you to click on ads for profit. Avoid. 

  • : cannot be considered academic because there are no authors with traceable credentials.  I think it's just ad bait: that is, a collection of info for the purpose of drawing you to advertising.  Most of the info isn't wrong, and some of it has references.  Created by, which does a series of other topical websites. 
  • : One of a series of sites, created by free-lance writers / lovers of a topic, mostly for ad revenue. So each article must be evaluated separately for authority.  See their page about what makes a good post for their purposes:  
  • Women's Fashion at is the same story.  Do you see a pattern here? 


But keep looking, there are many really good costume history sites to be found.  

  • : Here, for example, is a page from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in which they examine various artifacts and try to connect them to a larger understanding of the era.  
  • : Here, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising does the same sort of thing.  
  • : This is a website for sharing info among vintage clothing sellers and enthusiasts. While it doesn't have academic credentials, if you are careful to use the info side of the site, there is some good stuff here.