Annotated Bibliography for Historical Clothing Research and Reproduction
Last Updated: August 12, 2012.
Current count of entries: 107.
The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to list books which are or seem relevant to the subject of historical clothing research, especially for the purpose of reproduction. It is an ongoing project, which I expect will be permanently a work in progress. Currently it includes only books, not journal articles or websites. I may expand it to include such sources in the future, or I may list them elsewhere.
I try include here every subject-relevant book that I have encountered since beginning the annotated bibliography during spring semester 2010. Therefore, the inclusion of a book on this master list is not necessarily a recommendation. In the interests of offering genuinely helpful, comprehensive information, I include both positive and negative reviews, in the form of critical annotations. The majority of the books involve 19th century clothing, but I am working to expand into other time periods as well, as I research them.
Naturally, the opinions represented here are mine, and others may disagree. Feel free to email me about any potential factual errors or dissenting opinions. I am also happy to learn about recommendations, and may be able to review books upon request. I am still in the process of adding more books to this list, and writing full critical annotations for each, as well as arranging links to other books by the same author, so be aware that updates are ongoing.
To keep this page from becoming too long and unwieldy, I am limiting it to pure citations, composed in Chicago style (with slight variations to accommodate the inclusion of necessary information). Each citation has its own post, linked via the title, which will include the paragraph-long annotation and any other relevant notes (for instance, if I have used the book for a particular project, that project will be linked). Listings marked with an asterisk (*) are books that I personally own. Update: the citations on this page will now also include a quick note about whether the book is recommended, recommended for the pictures, better than nothing, or not recommended. For details, see the linked individual entry, though some newer entries currently have only brief annotations here, without their own linked pages.
Amphlett, Hilda. Hats: A History of Fashion in Headwear. Mineola, New Y0rk: Dover Publications, 2003. Not recommended: re-drawings, generalizations, no citations.
Ashelford, Jane. The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society 1500-1914. London: The National Trust, 1996. Recommended.
Arnold, Janet. A Handbook of Costume. London: Macmillan London Limited, 1975. Recommended.
*Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860. New York: Drama Book Specialists/Publishers, 1978. Recommended.
*Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1860-1940. New York: Drama Book Specialists/Publishers, 1993. Recommended.
*Bassett, Lynne Zacek. Textiles for Regency Clothing 1800-1850: A Workbook of Swatches and Information. Formerly titled Textiles for Clothing of the Early Republic. Arlington, Virginia: Q Graphics Production Company, Product division of Sally Queen & Associates, 2001. Recommended.
*Baumgarten, Linda, and John Watson, with Florine Carr. Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Patterns 1750-1790. Williamsburg, Virginia: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2000. In association with Quite Specific Media Group Ltd., New York and Hollywood. Recommended.
Baumgarten, Linda. What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection. Williamsburg, Virginia: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002. In association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London. Recommended.
Beard, Tyler. Photographs by Jim Arndt. 100 Years of Western Wear. Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 1993. Not recommended, except for Hollywood costumes in Western films and recent rodeo-style fashions.
*Beaudoin-Ross, Jacqueline. Form and Fashion: Nineteenth Century Montreal Dress (Formes et modes: Le costume à Montréal au XIXͤ siècle). Montreal: McCord Museum of Canadian History, 1992. Recommended.
Black, J. Anderson, and Madge Garland. A History of Fashion. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1980. Not recommended, except perhaps for some pictures.
Blum, Stella, Edited and with an Introduction by. Fashions and Costumes from Godey’s Lady’s Book; Including 8 Plates in Full Color. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1985. Recommended.
*Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930. Hollywood: Costume & Fashion Press, 2009. Recommended.
Bryant, Janie, with Monica Corcoran Harel. Foreword by January Jones. The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men. New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2010. Not recommended as a vintage style resource; almost entirely modern and mainstream, standard fashion advice.
Buck, Anne. Victorian Costume and Costume Accessories. Revised 2nd ed. Carlton, England: Ruth Bean, 1984. Recommended as a general resource.
Burnston, Sharon Ann. Fitting & Proper: 18th Century Clothing from the Collection of the Chester County Historical Society. Texarcana, Texas: Scurlock Publishing Co., Inc., 1998. Recommended.
*Butterick Publishing Company, The. Vogue Sewing. Revised edition. New York: The Butterick Publishing Company, 2000. Recommended (for general sewing).
Byrde, Penelope. Nineteenth Century Fashion. London: B. T. Batsford, 1992. Recommended for the pictures.
Carnahan, Ruby. How To Make Hats: Easy Step by Step Instructions: Over 30 Patterns…500 Illustrations. Chicago: Carnahan Associates, 1966. Recommended, but only for 1960s hats specifically.
Carter, Alison. Underwear: The Fashion History. New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1992. Not recommended: sensationalized and unreliable, though it has a few good pictures, most from the later 20th century.
Cassin-Scott, Jack. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion, from 1066 to the Present. London: Studio Vista, 1994 (first published 1971). Not recommended under any circumstances: poor re-drawings, no citations, oversimplification, poor text.
*Clark, Mrs. (Elizabeth Stewart). The Dressmaker’s Guide To Fit & Fashion; Including techniques for drafting, fitting, and constructing the clothing of the early 1860’s. Learn to make lovely and correct clothing with the help of illustrations, diagrams, and descriptive instructions with the home-dressmaker in mind. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company, 2004. Recommended – though the second edition is even better.
*Clark, Elizabeth Stewart. The Dressmaker’s Guide; 1840-1860. 2nd edition, Revised & Expanded. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company, 2009. Recommended.
*Clark, Mrs. (Elizabeth Stewart). Practical Prinkery: The Guide to Recreating Mid-19th Century Clothing for Young Women Twelve to Twenty-one. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company, 2004. Recommended.
*Clark, Mrs. (Elizabeth Stewart). Skirting the Issue: A Workbook for Skirts & Petticoats: A Construction Guide for Skirts, Including Variations and Embellishments, In the Style of the 1850s and 1860s. Idaho Falls, Idaho: Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company, 2004. Recommended, though the second edition of the Dressmaker’s Guide is a better idea.
Cunnington, C. Willett. English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century. London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1937. Recommended for the pictures and the cited quotes and information from primary sources – not the analysis.
Cunnington, C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington. The History of Underclothes. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1992. Recommended for the pictures and the cited quotes and information from primary sources – not the analysis.
*Dalrymple, Priscilla Harris. American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs. New York: Dover, 1991. Recommended.
Darnell, Paula Jean. Victorian Millinery: Ladies’ Hats 1850-1900. Reno, Nevada: Fabric Fancies, 1995. Not recommended: poorly organized and not useful, reads like an advertisement for patterns to purchase from the author.
Davidson, Caroline. Women’s Worlds: The Art and Life of Mary Ellen Best 1809-1891. With a foreword by Howard Rutkowski. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1985. Recommended for the pictures – content is artist biography, not costume history.
Davis, R. I. Men’s 17th & 18th Century Costume, Cut & Fashion: Patterns for Men’s Costumes. Additional Material by William-Alan Landes. Studio City, CA: Player’s Press, 2000. Recommended.
Dial, Tim. Basic Millinery for the Stage. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 2002. Recommended as a general resource on millinery.
Doyle, Robert. Waisted Efforts: An Illustrated Guide to Corset Making. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Sartorial Press Publications, 1997. Recommended only for experienced corset-makers who have exhausted the other resources – largely incomprehensible.
Dreher, Denise. From the Neck Up: An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking. Minneapolis: Madhatter Press, 1981. Recommended.
*Earnshaw, Pat. The Identification of Lace. Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications Ltd, 2000. Recommended with reservations – not very specific about dates.
Enss, Chris. How the West Was Worn: Bustles and Buckskins on the Wild Frontier. Guilford, Connecticut: Twodot, 2006. Not recommended: poor text, no citations, no dates for images, generalizations and counterfactual information throughout.
Ewing, Elizabeth. Everyday Dress 1650-1900. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1984. Recommended.
Ewing, Elizabeth. With illustrations by Jean Webber. Underwear: A History. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1972. Recommended with reservations – the illustrations are re-drawings, but the text is a decent, although dated, general overview.
Fenelly, Catherine. Textiles in New England, 1790-1840. Old Sturbridge Village Booklet Series. Sturbridge, Massachusetts: Old Sturbridge Village Inc., 1961. Recommended.
Fields, Jill. A Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Not recommended: an extreme scholarly fashion theory text primarily about the 20th century, with few images.
Flecker, Lara. A Practical Guide to Costume Mounting. Published in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum. Oxford: Butterworth-Heimemann, 2007. Recommended for anyone interested in mounting or displaying period costumes.
Fontanel, Béatrice. Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras. Translated by Willard Wood. New York: Abradale Press, 2001. Not recommended for the text, which is unreliable, though there are some good pictures.
Foster, Vanda. A Visual History of Costume: The Nineteenth Century. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1986. Recommended.
*Fukai, Akiko, Ed. Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century (The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute). 2006 edition published by Barnes & Noble by arrangement. Köln: Taschen, 2006. Recommended.
Gehret, Ellen J. Rural Pennsylvania Clothing: Being a Study of the Wearing Apparel of the German and English Inhabitants; Both Men and Women; Who Resided In Southeastern Pennsylvania; In the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century. York, Pennsylvania: Liberty Cap Books, 1976. Recommended, based on the recommendations of others.
*Gernsheim, Alison. Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey; With 235 Illustrations. New York: Dover Publications, 1981. Recommended for the pictures.
Ginsburg, Madeleine, ed. The Illustrated History of Textiles. Foreword by Charles Saumarez Smith. New York: Portland House, 1991. Recommended.
Ginsburg, Madeleine. Victorian Dress in Photographs. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc., 1983. Recommended, though it is more about photography than it is about costume.
Grimble, Frances. After a Fashion: How to Reproduce, Restore, And Wear Vintage Styles: Middle Ages to Art Deco, For Men and Women, Updated and Expanded. 2nd edition. Illustrated by Deborah Kuhn. San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 1998. Recommended.
*Grimble, Frances, Edited and with Additional Material by. The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques. San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 1997. Recommended.
*Grimble, Frances, Edited, Translated, and with Additional Material by. The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette. San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 2009. Recommended (note: material dates from 1905-1909).
Grimble, Frances, Edited and with Additional Information by. Reconstruction Era Fashions: 350 Sewing, Needlework, and Millinery Patterns 1867-1868. San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 2001. Recommended.
Harris, Jennifer, Ed. 5000 Years of Textiles. London: British Museum Press, 1993. Recommended.
Harris, Kristina. 59 Authentic Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Recommended as a source of authentic period patterns of the 1890s, all from the magazine The Voice of Fashion, ranging from Fall 1890 through Winter 1896.
Hawthorne, Rosemary. Drawings by Mary Want and Jacquie Govier. Knickers: An Intimate Appraisal. London: Souvenir Press, Ltd., 1991. Not recommended.
Hedlund, Catherine A. A Primer of New England Crewel Embroidery. 5th ed. Old Sturbridge Village Booklet Series. Sturbridge, Massachusetts: Old Sturbridge Village, 1973. Recommended.
Holland, Vyvyan. Hand Coloured Fashion Plates 1770 to 1899. London: B. T. Batsford, 1955. Recommended.
Hollander, Anne. Sex and Suits. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. Not recommended: a poorly organized, un-researched book full of fanciful supposition stated as fact.
Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costumes for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress 1800-1909. London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1988. Recommended, though the content is simplified for theatrical costuming.
Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costumes for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Outer Garments, Book I: Cloaks, Capes, Stoles and Wadded Mantles. Studio City, California: Players Press, Inc., 2000. Recommended, though the content is simplified for theatrical costuming.
Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costumes for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Outer Garments, Book II: Dominos, Dolmans, Coats, Pelisses, Spencers, Calashes, Hoods and Bonnets. Studio City, California: Players Press, Inc., 2003. Recommended, though the content is simplified for theatrical costuming.
*Ingham, Rosemary and Liz Covey. The Costume Technician’s Handbook: A Complete Guide for Amateur and Professional Costume Technicians (Completely Revised and Updated Edition of the Costumer’s Handbook). Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann Educational Books, Inc., 1992. Recommended for the theatrical costuming perspective.
*Johnston, Lucy. Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publishing, 2009. Recommended.
Lady, A (Anonymous). Every Lady Her Own Shoemaker; Or, A Complete Self-Instructor in the Art of Making Gaiters and Shoes. Davenport, Iowa: Amazon Drygoods, 1989. Recommended.
*Lady, A (Anonymous). The Workwoman’s Guide: A Guide to 19th Century Decorative Arts, Fashion and Practical Crafts (A Facsimile Reproduction of the Original 1838 Edition). Guilford, Connecticut: Opus Publications with Old Sturbridge Village, 1986. Recommended.
Langley, Susan. Vintage Hats & Bonnets; 1770 – 1970; Identification and Values. 2nd ed. Paducah, Kentucky: Collector Books, 2009. Recommended.
*Leisch, Juanita. Who Wore What: Women’s Wear 1861-1865. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Thomas Publications, 1995. Recommended.
Lord, William Barry. Freaks of Fashion: The Corset & the Crinoline (1868). Mendocino, California: R.L. Shep, 1993. Recommended only for contextualized study of corsets, Victorian fetishism, or erotic literature – this book is not what it appears in the publisher’s information.
Lynn, Eleri. Underwear: Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publishing, 2010. Recommended.
Klapper, Marvin. Textile Glossary. New York: Fairchild Publications, Inc., 1973. Recommended.
Kunzle, David. Fashion and Fetishism: A Social History of the Corset, Tight-Lacing and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture in the West. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1982.
Mackenzie, Althea. Hats and Bonnets, from Snowshill, one of the world’s leading collections of costume and accessories of the 18th and 19th centuries. London: The National Trust, 2004. Recommended.
Mackenzie, Althea. Shoes and Slippers, from Snowshill, one of the world’s leading collections of costume and accessories of the 18th and 19th centuries. London: The National Trust, 2004. Recommended.
*Marsh, Heidi, Compiled by. Hair, Hat, Hood, and Bonnet Too; of the Era of the Hoop. Greenville, California: Heidi Marsh, 1993. Recommended.
*Marsh, Heidi, Compiled by. Styles and So Forth of the Era of the Hoop; with Glossary. Greenville, California: Heidi Marsh, 1994. Recommended.
Meller, Susan, and Joost Elffers. Textile Designs: 200 Years of Patterns for Printed Fabrics arranged by Motif, Colour, Period and Design. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1995. Recommended.
Merrimack Valley Textile Museum. Homespun to Factory Made: Woolen Textiles in America, 1776-1876. North Andover, Massachusetts: Merrimack Valley Textile Museum, 1977. Exhibit Catalog. Recommended.
Miller, Marla R. The Needle’s Eye: Women and Work in the Age of Revolution. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006. Recommended.
*Mitchell, Sarah E. Ladies’ Clothing of the 1830’s; with Bibliographic Notes. Chatham, Virginia: Mitchells Publications, 2005. NOT recommended under any circumstances.
Montgomery, Florence. Textiles in America 1650-1870: A Dictionary based on original documents, prints and paintings, commercial records, American merchants’ papers, shopkeepers’ advertisements, and pattern books with original swatches of cloth. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2007. Recommended, though it is largely about textiles for decoration rather than attire.
Mulvagh, Jane. Vogue: History of 20th Century Fashion. London: Viking, 1988. Recommended for 20th century high fashion, year by year.
*Olian, JoAnne, Ed. 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates: 1838-1880. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1998. Recommended.
*Olian, JoAnne, Ed. Everyday Fashions 1909-1910, As Pictures in Sears Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1995. Recommended, though it is heavier on some years than others; see also complete Sears catalogs available online at Archive.org and elsewhere.
Peacock, John. Men’s Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook; With Over 1000 Color Illustrations. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1996. Recommended – although the book is composed of re-drawings, they are well done, and though the content is un-cited, it provides a good general overview, 1789-1995.
Rexford, Nancy E. Women’s Shoes in America, 1795-1930. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2000. Recommended.
Ribeiro, Aileen. The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France 1750-1820. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Recommended.
*Rothstein, Natalie, Ed. Four Hundred Years of Fashion. London: Victoria and Albert Museum in association with William Collins, 1984. Recommended only in that it is better than nothing – dated and awkwardly organized with few large images.
*Salen, Jill. Corsets: Historic Patterns and Techniques. Hollywood: Costume & Fashion Press, 2008. Recommended.
Schroeder, Jr., Joseph J., Ed. The Wonderful World of Ladies’ Fashion: 1850 – 1920. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1971. Recommended: a compilation of period pictures and quoted text.
*Severa, Joan L. Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 1995. Recommended.
Severa, Joan L. My Likeness Taken: Daguerreian Portraits in America. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2005. Recommended.
*Shep, R. L., Ed. Civil War Ladies: Fashions and Needle-Arts of the Early 1860’s; Primary Source Material from Peterson’s Magazine 1861 and 1864; Additional Hair Styles and Hair Jewelry from Campbell’s “Self-Instructor in the Art of Hair Work.” Mendocino, California: R. L. Shep, 1987. Recommended.
*Shep, R. L., compiled by. Corsets: A Visual History. Mendocino, California: R. L. Shep, 1993. Recommended – an edited compilation of images and text from period sources, primarily 1870s through 1920s.
Shephard, Norma. 1,000 Hats. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2006. Recommended with reservations, primarily for the pictures.
Sparks, Linda. The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009. Although it is suitable for modern corset-making, this book is less useful for period corset-making than others on the subject.
Staniland, Kay. In Royal Fashion: The Clothes of Princess Charlotte of Wales & Queen Victoria 1796-1901. London: Museum of London, 1997. Recommended.
Steele, Valerie. The Corset: A Cultural History. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2001. Recommended – this is the history of the corset to read.
Styles, John. The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. Recommended.
Summers, Leigh. Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset. Oxford: Berg, 2001. Not recommended: a scholarly text based on feminist fashion theory, it misrepresents and data-mines the primary sources.
Takeda, Sharon Sadako, and Kaye Durland Spilker. Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2010. Recommended.
Tarrant, Naomi. The Development of Costume. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1994. Recommended.
Tozer, Jane, and Sarah Levitt. Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770-1870: Essays inspired by the collections at Platt Hall, The Gallery of English Costume, Manchester. Carno, Powys, Wales: Laura Ashley Limited, 1983. Recommended.
Trestain, Eileen Jahnke. Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960. Paducah, Kentucky: American Quilter’s Society, 1998. Recommended.
Waugh, Norah. Corsets and Crinolines. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1970. Recommended.
Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Men’s Clothes 1600-1900. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1964. Recommended.
Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Women’s Clothes 1600-1930. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1968. Recommended.
Whitaker-Augusta Auction Company. Tasha Tudor Historic Costume Collection. Philadelphia: Whitaker-Augusta Auction Company, 2007. Recommended.