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Historic Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing

This website, courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Museum, features clothing and accessories from seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century America and highlights the dramatic changes in fashion over time. The collection is culled from two recent exhibits at the Williamsburg museum as well as from an exhibit on the history of accessories at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum. Visitors can explore photographs of these programs in two different ways. New visitors may want to start with the Explore section for a few especially interesting items in the collection. These items include a fan from the eighteenth century featuring images of Roman gods and goddesses; a pair of women's high heels circa 1730-1750; and a men's pocketbook with the embroidered label "Constantinople, 1749." Meanwhile, in the Learn section, visitors can browse clothing and accessories by categories such as Formal, Fashionable, Everyday, and Lifecycles (the last category features clothing worn for Weddings, Pregnancies, and Mournings). Visitors will find numerous photographs, that may be examined in detail using a handy zoom feature, accompanied by descriptions of featured clothing and their symbolism (visitors can find specific information about each item by viewing them).
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Date of Scout Publication 2017-04-14
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