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The Costumer's Bookstore: Bargain and Low-Cost BooksBargain and Low-Cost Books

Karl Kohler. My all time favorite bargain, this book has patterns, photos of antique garments, and intelligent text, all at one of the lowest prices for a costume book on the market. It covers Western costume from the age of the Bog People to about 1850, with very strong sections on Renaissance and Late 18th Century dress. The book has B&W versions of the pictures on

Color plates of original 18th Century costumes from Karl Kohler's Kostumekunde along with patterns of several of these costumes, plus others in various eras.

Cesare, Vecellio. The first great costume book written (or to be more accurate, drawn), this work is absolutely indispensable for costuming Shakespeare or Ren Faires. It is most interesting in that it shows not only contemporary European Renaissance dress, but also what these same Europeans thought was the modern dress around the world, as well as Medieval and Ancient dress. This book is probably the closest image of what costuming in Shakespeare's stage would have looked like, since plates in it are suspiciously close to the costumes shown in the Titus Andronicus drawing.

, Albert Racinet. One of the greatest collections of costume illustrations ever produced (c1870-80), the accuracy of detail and subtlety of color make these secondary source illustrations as reliable as the originals. Covers clothing in all periods and countries known at the time, with an unusual level of respect and appreciation of the beauties of traditional dress in all cultures. To see many illustrations from Racinet, see

Plates from le Costume Historique.

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Braun and Schneider. Lots of 19th Century detailed B&W plates of costume history from ancient times to 1850. Very strong in the historic and traditional clothing of countries that don't often get found in books (Poland, Persia, Russia, etc.) To see the color versions of these plates go to online. Because the hand coloring of the plates was often fanciful or inconsistent, the B&W version is in many ways preferable., Herbert Norris. Still the single best book for English costume 1066-1485. A long out of print classic, heavily geared towards the needs of Shakespeare productions and people doing English History plays. Norris' books have long been hunted through antiquarian booksellers by serious costumers, and only recently have been reprinted in their entirety. Many images from this book can be seen on online.

, Herbert Norris. Covers clothing in Europeprior to 1066. Also excellent.

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Product Links

A History of Costume A History of Costume

Vecellio's Renaissance Costume Book : All 500 Woodcut Illustrations from the Famous Sixteenth-Century Compendium of World Costume Vecellio's Renaissance Costume Book : All 500 Woodcut Illustrations from the Famous Sixteenth-Century Compendium of World Costume

Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes

The History of Beads : From 30,000 B.C. to the Present (Paperback) Historic Costume in Pictures. The History of Beads : From 30,000 B.C. to the Present (Paperback) Historic Costume in Pictures.

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History of Costume

Fashions of the Regency Period Paper Dolls Fashions of the Regency Period Paper Dolls

Medieval Costume and Fashion Medieval Costume and Fashion

Cotehardie & Houppelande Homepage

Ancient European Costume and Fashion Ancient European Costume and Fashion

Authentic Everyday Dress of the Renaissance : All 154 Plates from the 'Trachtenbuch' Authentic Everyday Dress of the Renaissance : All 154 Plates from the 'Trachtenbuch'

Medieval Costume in England and France : The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries Medieval Costume in England and France : The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries

Ancient European Costume and Fashion Ancient European Costume and Fashion

The History of Underclothes The History of Underclothes

Ancient Egyptian Fashions Ancient Egyptian Fashions

Greek and Roman Fashions

Costumes of the Greeks and Romans Costumes of the Greeks and Romans

Medieval Costumes Paper Dolls Medieval Costumes Paper Dolls

Colonial and Early American Fashions Colonial and Early American Fashions

Everyday Dress of the American Colonial Period Coloring Book Everyday Dress of the American Colonial Period Coloring Book

Eighteenth Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color Eighteenth Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color

English Costume from the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries English Costume from the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries

Colonial Fashions Paper Dolls Colonial Fashions Paper Dolls

Ancient Egyptian Costumes Paper Dolls Ancient Egyptian Costumes Paper Dolls

Ancient Greek Costumes Paper Dolls Ancient Greek Costumes Paper Dolls

Masterpieces of Women's Costume of the 18th and 19th Centuries Masterpieces of Women's Costume of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Everyday Dress of Rural America 1783-1800 : With Instructions and Patterns Everyday Dress of Rural America 1783-1800 : With Instructions and Patterns

Thomas Jefferson and His Family : Paper Dolls in Full Color Thomas Jefferson and His Family : Paper Dolls in Full Color

Elite Fashions Catalog, 1904 (Dover Pictorial Archive Series) Elite Fashions Catalog, 1904 (Dover Pictorial Archive Series)

Women's Fashions of the Early 1900s : An Unabridged Republication of 'New York Fashions, 1909' Women's Fashions of the Early 1900s : An Unabridged Republication of 'New York Fashions, 1909'

Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century

Medieval Fashions Coloring Book Medieval Fashions Coloring Book

Gothic Costumes Paper Dolls Gothic Costumes Paper Dolls

Altman's Spring and Summer Fashions Catalog, 1915 Altman's Spring and Summer Fashions Catalog, 1915

Victorian to Vamp: Women's Clothing 1900-1929 Victorian to Vamp: Women's Clothing 1900-1929

Pattern Designing for Dressmakers Pattern Designing for Dressmakers

Wedding Fashions 1862-1912 : 380 Costume Designs from 'LA Mode Illustree' Wedding Fashions 1862-1912 : 380 Costume Designs from 'LA Mode Illustree'

Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from 'LA Mode Illustree Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from 'LA Mode Illustree

The Gibson Girl and Her America : The Best Drawings The Gibson Girl and Her America : The Best Drawings

American Family of 1900-1920 : Paper Dolls in Full Color American Family of 1900-1920 : Paper Dolls in Full Color

Ziegfeld Follies Paper Dolls in Full Color Ziegfeld Follies Paper Dolls in Full Color

Everyday Fashions 1909-1920 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Everyday Fashions 1909-1920 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

Erte's Theatrical Costumes in Full Color Erte's Theatrical Costumes in Full Color

Fashion Drawings and Illustrations from Harper's Bazar Fashion Drawings and Illustrations from Harper's Bazar

Erte's Fashion Designs : 218 Illustrations from Harper's Bazar, 1918-1932 Erte's Fashion Designs : 218 Illustrations from Harper's Bazar, 1918-1932

Poiret Fashion Review Paper Dolls Poiret Fashion Review Paper Dolls

Edwardian Costumes Paper Dolls Edwardian Costumes Paper Dolls

Victorian and Edwardian Fashion : A Photographic Survey Victorian and Edwardian Fashion : A Photographic Survey

Fashion Accessories: The Complete 20th Century Sourcebook Fashion Accessories: The Complete 20th Century Sourcebook

GQ [MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION] GQ [MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION]

Traditional African Costumes Paper Dolls Traditional African Costumes Paper Dolls

Women's Wear of the 1920's: With Complete Patterns

1920S Fashions from B. Altman & Company

Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s

Fashions of the Early Twenties : The 1921 Philipsborn's Catalog (Dover Books on Fashion) Fashions of the Early Twenties : The 1921 Philipsborn's Catalog (Dover Books on Fashion)

Great Fashion Designs of the Twenties Paper Dolls in Full Color Great Fashion Designs of the Twenties Paper Dolls in Full Color

Glamorous Movie Stars of the Thirties : Paper Dolls Glamorous Movie Stars of the Thirties : Paper Dolls

Authentic French Fashions of the Twenties : Authentic French Fashions of the Twenties :

Costume Designs from L'Art Et LA Mode

Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs

Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

This Page is part of The Costumer's Manifesto, originally founded by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. from 1996-2014, now flying free as a wiki for all to edit and contribute. Site maintained, hosted, and wikified by Andrew Kahn. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. You may print out any of these pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, or wall displays. You may link to any page in this site.