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About the site
Disclaimers This site is intended for educational purposes only, and views expressed here are my own, based very strongly on some provocative sourses of costume history.

I have studied costume since 1989, and so have read a vast amount of work, seen scores of books of images and all this has settled in my mind with no way of me being able to recall each and every book, each quote or image. As such I have focused on books I currently have access to and the best of those.

I may have some things to say that goes against the grain of what most costume books perpetuate, most notably the tight lacing myth. This is a pet topic of mine as it is supposed to have reached it's greatest popularity of the era this site documents, the last quarter of the 19th Century.

While this is true to a certain degree, the hysteria about 18 inch waists and general poo-pooing of this era's 'artificiality has prompted me to write a less biased account of what we do know. I will give good quotations where I can, and once my screes of notes are translated into my own words, I shall post them here under the links to the left that are currently inactivated. They are too much like the original authors words for me to feel safe about uploading them here.

All images have been scanned by me, if the owners of the works wish me to remove them or give better credit let me know. I will be finding some way of siting each image to the best of my ability as I go through each page and comment on each picture file. All images are in a reasonable thumbnail size, they do not link to full sized images, hopefully as I add information on each image you will be able to locate the original sourse. Several pages are very graphic intensive, but files are of a reasonable size to ensure loading times are not too long. I have a first gen pentium with a 33k modem and the files load reasonably quickly.

all page design and information copyright to mdb, May 2000, unless otherwise noted.