AMC’s hit new series Turn has created a renewed interest in the colonial period including its fashions. Turn, based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, tells the story of the Culper Ring and the part they played in aiding the colonies’ liberation from England. Turn’s Emmy award winning costume designer Donna Zakowska, makes the show’s colonial period fashions sophisticated in a contemporary way.
The library has many amazing books in its fashion history collection. If you would like to learn more about the clothing worn during the colonial period then you may want to take a look at the following titles:
The History of American Dress: the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
By Alexander Wyckoff
This oldie but goodie is packed with rich historical details depicting the clothing worn by men, women and children during the American Revolution. Drawings showcase every aspect of the clothing worn, from the men’s wigs, to the shape of the heel on children’s shoes. This book is a must read for fashion history fans.
Everyday Dress of Rural America, 1783-1800: with Instructions and Patterns
By Merideth Wright
This slim volume is a “comprehensive study of late-18th-century clothing worn by the settlers of New England. Features full descriptions and line drawings with complete instructions for duplicating a wide range of garments from: shifts, petticoats, gowns, breeches, waistcoats and headgear.”
Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries
By Avril Hart and Susan North
This book is filled with large, beautiful, color photographs of fashions from the historical costume collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Each featured piece includes a detailed photo and description of the item and a drawing of the garment to better understand its overall construction. This book is amazing don’t miss it!
What Clothes Reveal: the Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America: the Colonial Williamsburg Collection
by Linda Baumgarten
“Drawing on the costumes and accessories in the Colonial Williamsburg collection, Linda Baumgarten examines how Americans of all classes dressed in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Topics range from the work clothes of slaves to the elegant, high-style attire of the gentry. What people wore during significant life passages and the social contexts of such apparel are fully and engagingly discussed.” This book features tons of lovely photographs of American colonial fashions.