Costumer's Bookstore

All of the books listed here are available from, and I recommend all of them. Click on any title that looks interesting to find out about the book. If you don't necessarily see one that trips your trigger, you can search for a book at the bottom of the page.
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Costume Technician's Handbook The Costume Technician's Handbook
by Rosemary Ingham and Elizabeth Covey
This is usually the first book I recommend for anyone really wanting to get into costuming. With sections on hand-sewing, fabric modification, and pattern drafting (the main reason I recommend it) it is the single most useful book in my library.

Costume Construction Costume Construction
by Katherine Holkeboer
This book very quickly got an eye-level position in my bookshelf. Excellent sections on pattern drafting/draping/modification, fabrics, sewing techniques that many other books gloss over or omit entirely.

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes Patterns for Theatrical Costumes : Garments, Trims, and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915
by Katherine Holkeboer
I can easily recommend anything written by Ms. Holkeboer. This one is an excellent general style reference.

ALTERNATE_TEXT Patterns of Fashion : The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C1560-1620
by Janet Arnold
If you have no other books on historical garments in your library you must have this one. Ms. Arnold has examined the garments and provides detailed drawings, patterns, and construction notes. The book also correlates period portraits, paintings, and scultures (in black and white) with the actual clothing examples, so costumers can learn to "read" the pictures for fabric, cut, style, etc. This book is a classic in its field, and no serious historic costumer should be without it. [quoted from reader's review - already well said, why paraphrase?]

What People Wore What People Wore : 1,800 Illustrations from Ancient Times to the Early Twentieth Century
by Douglas Gorsline
Midwest Book Review
Almost two thousand black and white illustrations outline the changing world of people's clothing from ancient times to the early 20th century. This is a fine survey of clothing styles and history, packed with plate after plate of style examples for both men and women.

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