What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America

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9780300095807: What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America

Paintings of upper-class men and women tell an important part of the history of costumes, but surviving garments reveal even more. Every crease, stitch, and stain in a piece of clothing supplies valuable information about its wearer and its era. This stunning book features eighteenth - and early-nineteenth-century garments from the premiere collection of Colonial Williamsburg. Illustrated with more than 300 color photographs, including many details and back views, What Clothes Reveal treats not only elegant, high-style clothing in colonial America but also garments for everyday and work, the clothing of slaves, and maternity and nursing apparel.
Drawing on contemporary written descriptions and on actual costumes of the period, the book analyzes what Americans in the eighteenth century considered fashionable and attractive and how they used clothing to assert status or to identify occupations. The book also examines the myths and meanings of clothing in British and American society, clothing for the entire life cycle, and a history of clothing alteration. Informative sidebars on a variety of fascinating topics complete the volume.

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From the Publisher:

Published in association with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

About the Author:

Linda Baumgarten is curator of textiles and costumes at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Baumgarten, Linda
Published by Yale University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0300095805 ISBN 13: 9780300095807
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Baumgarten, Linda
Published by Yale University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0300095805 ISBN 13: 9780300095807
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