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A fascinating account of the history of dress over the past four centuries, this volume is a sumptuous visual feast for all costume designers, historians, fashion students, and fashion lovers The clothes worn by our ancestors afford an unparalleled insight into lifestyles that have disappeared forever. Here, Jane Ashelford has used the National Trust's stunning costume and textile collections as well as its historic house portraits, family correspondence, diaries, and household papers to produce a history that goes beyond a mere chronicle of cut, shape, and decoration. She looks at the social aspects of dress and what people of all ages wore at all levels of society, from swaddling bands to widow's weeds, describing not only garment details and the manner of wearing in historical context but also offering excerpts from writings by contemporaries. Men's, women's, children's, and servant's attire and accessories provide vital information about the taste, preoccupations, and aspirations of the individuals who wore them, and the world in which they lived.
About the Author
Jane Ashelford is also the author of The Care of Clothes.
"Costume historians and students should welcome this rich source of information . . . but general readers will enjoy this book as well. Highly recommended." —Library Journal
"Fascinating facts will allure readers, as will the incredibly wide range of subjects." —Booklist