Very Cool Sites of Historical Fashion to Visit

I am big fan of historical fashion, i create this list which include some very cool historical fashion related sites from all over the world as an archive and masterlist. I hope it’s helpful to you when you need to find something about fashion of history.
An overview of fashion history with chronological reviews of trends in fashion apparel and accessories.
The official website for the Fashion Museum which houses iconic attire from the 18th century to modern day

Truly Victorian
Truly Victorian – Costume patterns of the 1830’s to the 1900’s speicializing in the Bustle Eras.

This Victorian Life
The author writes books about the Victorian era, and their entire life is an ongoing research project into their favorite decades of the 1880’s and ’90’s.

Lost In Victorian
Dedicated for supplying quality historical clothing ranging from Medieval age to the late 19th Century, perfect for theme weddings, SCA, LARP, stage and costume parties!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest art museums. Its collection includes more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe.

A store offering unique and beautiful custom gowns for all kinds of occasions. Victorian Balls, Venice Carnivale, Gothic, Medieval, Marie Antoinette, Alternative Wedding Gown.

Victoriana Magazine
Online magazine for fans of Vintage and Victorian era Décor, Crafts, Fashion, Entertaining, Antiques. Enchanting guide to vintage style and tradition.

Renaissance Splendor

This was the period when fashion finally moved from draped clothing to fitted garments and the art of tailoring came into its own. Clothes gained structure and became stiffer and more supportive. The first templates for garments that remained modern items of clothing were created: hose with a fitted doublet and outer coat for men, a bodice with a separate skirt for women.

Möller Lady with a rose, c.1600. Lovely cuffs and micro pleated ruff. Beautiful doublet and interesting belt. And, uh, unique hat.
Möller Lady with a rose, c.1600. Lovely cuffs and micro pleated ruff. Beautiful doublet and interesting belt. And, uh, unique hat.


Differentiation in clothing

Clothing now consisted of a greater number of parts including detachable sleeves, under- and over skirts, sleeveless jerkins, and  breeches of different lengths. This emphasis on separate parts of the body reflected the new interest in human anatomy that had gripped the natural sciences. The masculine form was enhanced by the latest clothing, with its wide shoulders, prominent codpieces,strong legs, and bellies. Women’s clothes emphasized their narrow waists, combining wide shoulders and skirts with a deeply pointed bodice. The garments of different nations or regions showed greater differentiation, and the religious schism between the Catholic church and the reform or Protestant faiths led to the creation of new visual  identities for members of the different faiths.

(Let’s see women’s clothing of Renaissance Era and before the time.)

14th century women's clothing
14th century women’s clothing
Elizabethan Working Woman
Elizabethan Working Woman

Age of exploration
The Ottoman Empire rose in the near East and southeast Europe, after conquering Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1453, bringing  Islamic might to the region. Through the 16th century the Spanish empire was the richest and most powerful; it began to wane in the early 17th century as the French became more dominant. This was an  age of conquests, exploration, and expansion into the Americas, following Columbus’s arrival in 1492. Other explorers ventured around the world opening up sea trading routes around Africa and Asia, crossing the Pacific and discovering new goods to bring back to Europe.

Dominant personalities

New realism and naturalism in painting meant that portraits were much more realistic and could accurately represent individuals and their clothes.Dominant personalities in Europe—Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in England, Philip II in Spain,Francois I and Henry IV in France, the de’Medici dynasty in Florence, and Suleiman the Magnificent in the Ottoman empire—reinforced their position with strong visuals in paintings that portrayed them in fashionable clothes. Ruffs, in particular, became popular. The starching process stiffened cloth and allowed the development of very wide ruffs, and lace became the most luxurious textile to own. In the late 16th century heeled shoes were invented.

Henry VIII
Henry VIII


Elizabeth I
Bess of Hardwick/Elizabeth I: “The Hardwick Portrait”, c1599, by Nicholas Hilliard and his workshop was commissioned by Bess of Hardwick. Bess also embroidered the skirt the queen is wearing in the portrait. The elaborate design includes flowers, sea serpents, and dragons. The painting can be viewed still at Hardwick Hall.









Fitting to the Body – 14th Century Fashion Trend

14th century clothingThe biggest development of the 14th century was the move from flat, draped garments belted for shape to the cutting of curved pieces with more complex construction to fit the body—the beginning of tailoring. Closures, especially buttons, became more important, used on new front openings and along very tight long sleeves. Close fitting revealed men’s and  women’s figures to great effect: sideless surcoats drew attention to slim waists and new waist seams, and low  belts emphasized the hips. Chests looked larger—both sexes made use of padding. Colors began to contrast instead of match, and parti-coloring became popular. Many believe that changes in “fashion” began increasing  in speed from this time. Clothing had tended to reflect one’s place in society. However, a greater variety of fabrics and accessories, such as hoods, belts, veils, gloves, and shoes, made it possible to blur social distinctions.

14th century clothing

14th century clothingMedieval Period Clothing





Fashion in the French Revolutionary Period

01879_0053In 1789, the French Revolution promoted a profound change in the aesthetics of fashion, and the favored fabric shifted from refined silk to simple cotton. It was a revolution with many causes: the failure of the national economy, increased conflict between the aristocracy and chose with royal prerogative, the discontent of a majority of citizens toward the more privileged classes, and and extended, severe food shortage.

The Revolution adopted fashion for the purposes of ideological propaganda in the new age, and revolutionaries declared their rebellious spirit by appropriating the clothing of the lower classes. Those who still wore extravagant and brightly colored silk clothing were considered anti-revolutionary. Instead of knee breeches and silk stockings that symbolized the nobility, revolutionaries wore long pants called sans-culottes (non-breeches). Besides his long pants, the revolutionary sympathizer dressed in a jacket called a carmagnole, a phrygian cap, a tricolor cockade, and clogs. Derived from simple English tastes, this fashion evolved into a style of frock coat and trousers, which was afterward worn by the modern citizen in the nineteenth century.


But not everything changed in 1789. During the Revolution, new fashion styles emerged in quick sucession, reflecting the changing political situation, but conventional clothing, such as the habit à la française, was still worn as the official court costume.

habit à la française
habit à la française

New and old fashions intermingled during the Revolutionary period. In some case the chaotic social climate created eccentric fashions. In particular, the youth of France embraced unusual, frivolous, and radical styles. During the Terror, the Muscadins, a group of young counter-revolutionaries, protested against the new order, and dresses in eccentric black coats with larg lapels and wide cravats. In a similarly eccentric vein, fops (Petits Maîtres), called Incroyables, appeared during the Directory period. Extremely high collars characterized their fashions, with large lapels folded back, gaudy waistcoats. wide cravats, breeches, cropped hairstyles, and bicorne instead of tricorne hats. Their female counterparts who were known as the Merveilleuses (the marvelous ones), wore extremely thin and diaphanous dresses which neither corset not pannier. Illustrations of round gowns, dresses with waistlines starting just below the bust, and a bodice and skirt made of one piece, can often be seen in the fashion plates of Nicolans von Heideloff’s Gallery of fashion (1794–1802, London). The round gown later transformed into the chemise dress, the most popular cotton dress of the early nineteenth century.


Whereas in England modernization was brought about by the industrial Revolution. French society received new impulses in late rococo period through political revolution. Set against the backdrop of such social unrest, European fashion moved toward a new modernity.

Ancient Egypt: Clothing & Jewelry

Ancient Egyptian wrap dress
Ancient Egyptian wrap dress
A kalasiris was the most important garment worn by women throughout the history of Ancient Egypt.

For three thousand years almost all clothing worn by the ancient Egyptians was of linen, made from flax grown in Fthe Nile Valley. The fabric suited the hot climate because it was cool and airy. Clothes were very simple in shape, with minimal cutting of cloth. Men wore a schenti cloth wrapped around the hips which hung in folds in front. Women wore a kalasiris (sheathlike dress), often with detachable sleeves. The mss (bag-shirt) was worn in the Middle Kingdom and later became general wear for men, women, and children.  The silhouette was influenced by two key factors: the fineness and finish of the linen—either left with a natural crimp after laundering, or (in the New Kingdom) arranged in crisp pleats—and by the wearing of decorative collars and belts. These accessories were rich in color and texture.

Ancient Egypt Neck piece
Ancient Egyptian Neck piece – 24 carat gold, turquoise, coral, enamel (Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York)

Jewelry was worn from top to bottom by wealthy Egyptian men and women—and even by their sacred animals.  Always colorful, the pieces featured motifs from the world, including green palm leaves, white lotus flowers, yellow mandrake fruits. Gold came from Nubia (present- Ethiopia), and silver was rarer and more expensive than Semiprecious stones included lapis lazuli (imported from Afghanistan), green and red jasper, amethyst, cornelian,turquoise, and quartz. Glass and glazed composite were used to imitate precious stones. Steatite, a soft stone, carved into small objects, including pendants and scarabs.