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French 348: Fashion's Empires


This guide will help you access resources on the history of dress and fashion. Subscription resources are available to Vassar College students and faculty, and internet resources are available to all users. Resource types include books and scholarly journal articles about the history of fashion, primary sources including period newspapers, magazines, and books, image databases, and databases that document historic dress and costume collections.

Library Books on Fashion and Fashion History

This list represents a small number of general clothing and fashion history books in the Vassar Library collection.  For a list of the books on reserve for this course, check here.

Browse these call number areas in both the Main Library and the Art Library for books related to fashion and clothing

  • GT for clothing history
  • TS for textile fabrics
  • TT for fashion design and designers 

Subject Headings for Clothing and Fashion

Use Vassar's Library Search and WorldCat to find books on the history of the fashion industry or books about French authors and novels.

When you find a book in the library catalog or a database that is useful to you, look at the subject headings and use them to find more books on the topic. Some examples of subject headings in the library catalog:

  • Clothing and dress--France--History
  • Clothing and dress--Social aspects
  • Clothing trade--France--History
  • Commercial products
  • Consumer behavior
  • Consumer goods
  • Consumers
  • Consumption (Economics)--France--History
  • Consumption (Economics)--Social aspects--History
  • Corsets
  • Costume--France--History--19th century
  • Costume--History--19th century
  • Crinolines

  • Fashion--France--History--18th century
  • Fashion--France--Paris--History--19th century
  • Fashion design--France--History
  • Fashion designers--France
  • Foundation garments
  • France--Civilization--19th century
  • France--Social conditions--19th century

  • Paris France--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Sales personnel--United States--History
  • Selling--United States--History
  • Shawls

  • Textile fabrics
  • Textile industry--France--History
  • Textile workers
  • Traveling sales personnel--United States--History
  • Underwear
  • Women consumers--France--History--19th century
  • Women dressmakers