An Introduction to Costuming
October 5, 2011
Costuming in an Age of Overload
I believe that history should be respected, loved, and preserved. While museums are wonderful at keeping historical treasures safe, the best way to ensure that something survives is to keep using it. What better way to learn history than to wear it?
When you create a period costume, historical accuracy should always be taken into account, but I’ve noticed that period costumes begin to lose details and character as the time gap expands. There are too many generalizations about colors, styles, themes, materials, gemstones, hairstyles– after a while everyone begins to wear the exact same costume with no variances or individuality, like buying a pair of shoes in every color. Sure, you are stylish, but what’s the fun of wearing the same ol’ outfit everyone else is wearing?!
I begin this blog in the hopes of finding others out there who have a passion for history, fabric, romance, and realism: those seeking to re-create history using a harmonious mix of period, vintage and handmade modern pieces. Since nerdiness runs swift in my veins, everything I do is backed up with extensive public and private research. Each entry will detail a catalog of items you can pick and choose from, many from sellers on popular websites like eBay, Etsy, and others, all with links so if something catches your eye you can pounce! If you feel like striking out on your own, there are plenty of historical references included in each entry to guide you: paintings, prints, original pieces, museum pages, and similar. Besides the existing pieces I find, there will be patterns, articles, and online freesources to inspire you to get creative.
Remember: There should be no fear that your costume is “wrong” unless you are specifically seeking to re-create the past because the research and exactitude makes your heart feel fizzy with excitement. The basic rule of costuming remains: A costume has character, preferably yours!