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Costume History

Resources on the history of dress, clothing, and costume for fashion, retail, and theater / theatre

Costume is More Than Just a Pretty Dress

...there is also a rich cultural context for what people wear.  Some examples:

  • Undergarments determine mobility and influence furniture design
  • Warmer fibers effect home heating needs
  • Incomes limit who buys fashionable clothing
  • Ideas about childhood influence infant coverings

Such context is best explored in books and articles.  Here we give you some hints where and how to look. 

Articles Plus Will Get us to Academic Work

Articles Plus is the best place to search for topics that cross the barriers of disciplines. 

Mix and match these terms to find general things on the interplay of clothing and culture: 

  • performance, performativity
  • feminism
  • culture
  • critical analysis
  • ethnography, ethnographic
  • identity
  • representation


  • clothing, clothes
  • dress
  • costume
  • fashion 

But be as specific as you can, for example: 


Fashion Tribes