Books to start with for costuming a living history character

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A Girl with a Shuttlecock, 
by Jean-Simťon Chardin, 1737

This book has excellent photos of original garments, however, most garments are of the nineteenth century, and are of Germanic origin. This must be taken into consideration when using the book as a guide for eighteenth century clothing! Use it as a reference for construction technique, and not cut, if you are doing clothing for other than a Germanic character in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is over 20 years old now, and we are sure that if Mrs. Gehret were here to do a new edition, there would be things she would add or change, as her research undoubtedly surpassed the publication of her book. The photos show wonderful details of cloth and stitches, and the book is a great resource to costumers who are new in historical clothing.

A volume representing a tremendous amount of research on original garments and textiles, and household inventories of the period. Great photos and wonderful, and useful charts and tables! [No image currently available]
Cloth and Costume, 1750-1800: Cumberland...

A two volume set, with lots of basic information. Consider its age in the history of costume research. If you are suspect of anything, try to find other resources to add to the information.

This book breaks out the geographical areas of North America, and further into categories of time period, gender, etc.

Be Careful! No matter what time period interests you, you are sure to find something to drool over in this book! Lots of color photos of original garments, side by side with contemporary artwork. A must see! cover
The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society,...