Accessories of Dress: An Illustrated Encyclopedia By Katherine Morris Lester, Bess Viola Oerke, Helen Westermann
This book has a wide variety of accessories from early history until modern times – and as luck would have it, the first part of the book that Google Books offers is on hats – both men’s and women’s hats, from early history until 1930 (when the copyright laws prevent them from showing more). Masks, wigs, collars, shawls and more are included in the book itself, though the Google Books reference only includes the hat section. Very fortunate for me, since that’s what I’m specifically interested in right now!
There are some very clear illustrations, however not a ~lot~ on each style… still enough to give a good impression, and a good jumping off point for further research on historical costume.
Another book with a general historial theme, although this one specifically about hats is Hats: a history of fashion in headwear By Hilda Amphlett. Again, this one has sketches of millinery from the 11th century until the 20th century.
Victorian & Edwardian
A really interesting look at fashion plates from old magazines. There are also illustrations specifically of hats, jewelry, shawls, parasols and other items. I would love to have (and have the ROOM to have) these sorts of resource books just for reference when costuming… but checking out the pages that Google Books has available for the time being is the next best thing!
A related reference book with fashion plates is Victorian and Edwardian fashions from “La Mode Illustrée By JoAnne Olian, also available in part on Google Books.
Next up, patterns – again taken (I imagine) from magazines from the Victorian era Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns: A Complete Lady’s Wardrobe By Kristina Harris. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and there are a bunch of caveats when using these for actual pattern-making… 1) historic clothing fits differently than modern clothing 2) the patterns aren’t multi-sized, so you need some idea of grading for your size. 3) patterns are rarely included for facings, cuffs, etc. With those caveats, seeing the more detailed patterns is a great way to see how different shapes were made, and then translate that into original drafts. There is another book on Google Books that I found: Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques By Kristina Harris however it mostly shows hand-sewing techniques, and although there might be more to the book…. I wasn’t nearly so excited as I was about the others.
Edwardian, Regency & the Teens
Everyday fashions, 1909-1920, as pictured in Sears catalogs By JoAnne Olian
More actual historic illustrations – this time from 1909-1920. I love seeing the actual catalogue illustrations of the hats from earlier in the period – how big those hats were!
For more fashion plates (with lots of descriptive information) this time from the Regency era, they also have Ackermann’s costume plates: women’s fashions in England, 1818-1828 By Stella Blum, Rudolph Ackermann
There’s also a book listed, with no preview at all – that I’m really curious to see more of…. Practical millinery lessons by Julia Bottomley
Oh, but there’s also…
On the topic of Google Books – although Google Books specifically didn’t have the following books, they were available through the Hathi Trust Digital Library. Millinery, by Charlotte Rankin Aiken.
From the University of Wisconsin library, there is The art of millinery: a complete series of practical lessons for the artiste and the amateur by Anna Ben Yusuf, which, I will admit I didn’t look too much at – I found it difficult to scroll through all the pages quickly to scan it… so I’m noting it for another time!
There is also Your millinery by Winifred Reiser at the Wisconsin library as well, which I also didn’t actually go through. 😦
The Library of Congress has a full digital version of A complete course in millinery by Julia Bottomley, & Emma Maxwell Burke, which looks really interesting as well. I skimmed through this one, but think it’s worth a read later on as well. There is also a copy of Home millinery course by National Millinery Company, which covers similar material, but is less extensive.