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Book Giveaway: “Costume and Fashion: A Concise History”

Costume and Fashion: A Concise History
You could win this book!

A Timeline of Fashion
Costume and Fashion: A Concise History by James Laver (Thames & Hudson, Inc., 2012) examines chronologically how fashion has existed and evolved from the inception of clothing all the way through today. With over 400 illustrations accompanying the text, it explains both the motives behind the dress and the occasion which it should be worn. The book was featured in Threads magazine, issue #165.

Its Fifth Edition
In the latest edition, Costume and Fashion features a new chapter by Amy de la Haye, former Curator of the Twentieth-Century Dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She discusses the new millennium and the diverse styles that characterize it, from radical reinventions at major fashion houses to affordable and disposable “fast fashion.”

Enter for a Chance to Win
Would you like to win a copy of the book? Which fashion time era would you most like to learn about? Answer this question in the comment box below to be entered into our random drawing. The deadline for your entry is Friday, March 29, at midnight. The winner will be chosen during the week of April 1 and will be notified via email. Good luck!


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  1. User avater
    fallingmoon | | #1

    What I find most intriguing is the repetition and evolution of trends. With lace playing a big role in today's looks, it would be fascinating to see how it has been used through the years.

    Thanks Threads for being such a fabulous online resource!

  2. schrodanger | | #2

    I think the Era(s) that I would be most interested in would be when a new fiber was introduced to a society. That's evolution.

  3. silva | | #3

    I would like to learn about the way fashion changed throughout the 50s. I think there was so much change in the way women dressed during this era based on the economy and women becoming a vital force in the corporate work place. Adapting to this new way of life makes this era the most fascinating one in fashion history to me.

  4. user-1133204 | | #4

    I would be very interested in learning about construction of c1800 era clothing. It has always fascinated me.

  5. Shesews518 | | #5

    I would love to learn about the lovely details in garments from the 1940s.

  6. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #6

    I would love to learn more about the clothing of the 1700's. I love the detail and the extravagance as well as the rich fabrics.

  7. SusanInBoston | | #7

    I'm interested in the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The point at which the transition from clothing that enveloped the figure in yards of fabric to the styles that revealed the figure (and some of the flesh) intrigues me.

  8. user-1050845 | | #8

    The victorian. Beutiful fabrics and silhouettes.

  9. thejam | | #9

    The 1940's.....so classy.

  10. User avater
    ginnylynn | | #10

    The Victorian era is one that has always intrigued me. As an earlier poster said, the fabrics and silhouettes are lovely.

  11. organdy | | #11

    opera supplies so many thrilling costume ideas--i would love to add this book to my inspirational collection!

  12. jennieMB | | #12

    I'd like to know more about the Victoria Era, just a beautiful time.

  13. AndiBrown | | #13

    I would like to read about fashion as it relates to current events, e.g. wartime restrictions on fabric resulting in sleeker silhouettes.

  14. User avater
    StitchesByJeni | | #14

    I love the Renascence So I would have to go with that time.

  15. user-2442108 | | #15

    1920's is a decade I love exploring as one of the most innovative silhouette changes and the design lines remain current still. I love it.

  16. Ikebana152 | | #16

    I would like to learn more about the early 1900's, particularly 1903 when Poiret open his fashion house and the radical change of silhouette, the introduction of photography and it's impact on selling fashion, etc. Amazing textiles and an interesting interpretation of Oriental style in western fashion (Poiret's kimono coats) - love it!

  17. moviedoll | | #17

    I would love to learn about the early 1900s because of how dramatically the styles changed. Well.... that, and the 1950s cause I'm loving all those vintage styles!

  18. Cair | | #18

    I find things I love about all periods, but the farther back I look the more I find the ingenious ways that people got along without handy things like zippers! In addition, there are finishing techniques and construction I would never have known existed that improve my modern sewing. Currently I am working on a set of steampunk inspired costumes for a convention my children and I are attending soon, so I have been elbows deep in Victoriana and abit of early Edwardian style. I love the shapes and layers, and am even considering adding some to my everyday wardrobe because some of the blouses and skirts and coats are just so cleverly constructed and truly beautiful in a way that stands up to the passage of time.

  19. AdaSharon | | #19

    My favorite fashion era is the 20's even though my body isn't even remotely suited to this style I still find it fascinating.

  20. user-2443077 | | #20

    I would love to learn more about the victorian era.

  21. melindy | | #21

    I am very interested in art history,and how it interacts with our lives and fashion today. This semester I am currently taking a class in the history of jewelry and will soon be studying how fashion influencedjewelry making. This book would support my general fashion studies and could provide a stronger aesthetic grounding for my personal artwork which references clothing/fashion in both structure and concept.

  22. User avater
    FlapperGirl | | #22

    Just like my name implies, I adore the '20s!!! However, that doesn't stop me from always going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in full costume, so I would also like to learn more about that as well.

  23. User avater
    marax | | #23

    Hi, as the newly elected wardrobe mistress to our local theatre in rural new Zealand, this book would be such a valuable addition to our library. We are currently designing and making all the costumes for a pantamine set in the mid eighteenth century. I was really stirred and motivated by the article in my Threads magazine number 165.

  24. dmc000 | | #24

    I don't know if I can pick, love the 20's-40's but have some love for the 50's-60's as well :) The details of years past amazes me, such precision and style.

  25. phyllisincanada | | #25

    I would love to know more about the fashion of the 1930s - particularly the latter part heading into the War.
    Phyllis in Canada

  26. User avater
    debit | | #26

    I love the 20's as well. The Cloche hats and the beads...wow I only wish!

  27. susanna | | #27

    The lovely detail work of the Edwardian era is particularly enchanting to me ~ I can't get enough of it! This book sounds GREAT!

  28. User avater
    SansSouci572 | | #28

    I would like to study all the eras, as I was a costume designer for a few years and would like to do it again.
    For me personally though, I like the 60's.

  29. CathyB | | #29

    1925-WWII Things changed so quickly after Poiret freed women from the corset, but some of the interesting details and fabrics lingered. So much to draw from for making my own projects.

    The New Look is also so lovely. I think both eras are where women really evolved stylistically.


  30. reneej | | #30

    I would like to learn something about the Belle Epoque era (1890-1914) as this is the theme for a fashion show I am competing in. This book would provide great inspiration for this show, as I really would love to modernize this look. I also like the New Look times, so stylish!

  31. user-1068810 | | #31

    The 40's and 50's have always been my favorite. BUT with
    Downtown Abby I'm kinda into the 20's now.
    Nancy B.

  32. nicolars | | #32

    Costuming is a subject I love and can spend hours poring over, and I know this book would be a fascinating addition to my collection. Thank you for offering such a great contest!

  33. User avater
    Nerdychick2001 | | #33

    Gatsby era - the dresses look so comfortable and would flatter any figure, even my rectangle body.

  34. ambrerose | | #34

    I would love to learn more about the late 1700's. So many of the everyday outfits that were so extravagant.

  35. User avater
    EdelweissPatterns | | #35

    Hmm, well I think I would like more detialed photos from the late Victorian or Early Edwardian period. Even though it's the era I've studied the most, it's also the one that I want to learn morea about, too! There was just such elegance back then.

  36. katiebodle | | #36

    The history of this is so exciting. I always wonder how the men and women came up with the ideas--the changes---and why some worked and others did not. some of the ideas were crazy and I understand why they were rejected ---but why were others that were crazy worked???? thanks for the chance.

  37. User avater
    JmTokunaga | | #37

    Ooh, I'd like to read that new chapter on fashion houses. Couture from the first half of the 20th Century, please. But I'm also fascinated by men's formal clothing and how little it has changed over the decades.

  38. User avater
    2tango | | #38

    the 20's for the beautiful bias cuts of Madeleine Vionnet the fantastic embelishments of Elsa Schiaparelli, flappers and wild living

  39. jen0farc | | #39

    Would love to learn more from this book

  40. mssheryle | | #40

    the 1960s is my fave fashion era

  41. User avater
    auschick | | #41

    I'd love to learn about how fashion has evolved and the influence it has had on society and the role/perception of women. That being said, i'd love to learn more about the early 1900's.

  42. Carly_Sue | | #42

    Yes, I sure would love to win this book. I would like to choose ' vintage copy cat fashions' that are in vogue today. I wish women dressed like ladies nowadays, instead of generic looking clothing.

  43. Susan545 | | #43

    I love the 40's the most. This would be a great book to add to my collection.

  44. User avater
    Misty_Rae | | #44

    I'm a historical reenactor and the Arts and Sciences leader of my local group which means not only am I fascinated with making my own costumes (for my Elizabethan persona as well as my modern closet) but I'm in charge of inspiring people around me to become just as fascinated.

    The people in my group recreate clothing from all over the world from 600 to 1600 AD so this book could have something for everyone!

  45. User avater
    Knitnut | | #45

    I am very interested in gowns from the Elizabethan period, with the big wired collars. Also, gowns up to the mid-1800's, the more detail the better. I'm having my 60th birthday party at a Renaissaince Fair this year and need to create a knock out dress fit for a Queen! Thanks for this amazing opportunity! I can't wait to see who wins. PS - THREADS ROCKS! What a great source in print and online.

  46. WildSewing | | #46

    My favorite era is the 20's and 30's. I would love to own this book as a valuable resource and reference.

  47. lsmcd | | #47

    History of costume is so fascinating, so choosing one era is quite difficult. Today, Belle Epoque, tomorrow maybe some Renaissance.

  48. User avater
    Gossamer_Facade | | #48

    The Victorian Era has to be my favorite time in fashion. I find historical pieces to be very inspirational in general but I find pieces from the Victorian Era to be the most fun to work with and to attempt to incorporate into modern dressing.

  49. User avater
    Kukana | | #49

    What a great way to find inspiration!!!

  50. thesemstress | | #50

    From the middles ages to the Victorian era, it's all fascinating to me.

  51. bobbinsandbustles | | #51

    I'd love to win this book since I'm super in love with the Victoria aesthetic!

  52. Sambo | | #52

    I would love the costume oak as I work with the theater.

  53. MsHem | | #53

    what a wonderful source for design ideas. Making something old into something new. Neat!

  54. MsHem | | #54

    I'd like to learn about a the late 1800's to the early 1900's. So many changes in industry spurred changes in clothing, textiles and design. this would be a wonderful addition to a costuming library.

  55. User avater
    kathys120 | | #55

    I'm particularly interested in non-European national fashion from the Renaissance period.

  56. AFNovice | | #56

    I'd love to learn more about fashion in Victorian era England and the Continent.

  57. User avater
    elenarella | | #57

    I am most fascinated by the fashions of the early 20th Century. I've often added tailored details from this time period to clothing I've made.

  58. dianajanssen | | #58

    I would most like to learn about the late 40s, early 50s.

  59. User avater
    BernadetteFox | | #59

    I am interested in the early 19th century - especially after watching Downton Abbey. :)

  60. mcspeer | | #60

    La Belle Epoque, the Renaissance, Elizabethan era but not English, late Edwardian into the early Twentieth Century and on until the early 40s. I love a lot of fashion periods, and I just love beautiful clothing whenever it was made.

  61. Lise_the_hobbit | | #61

    I have always been intrigued by the sacque dresses of the mid to late 1700s and how they were assembled.

  62. User avater
    GigM | | #62

    I've been reading a lot of Renaissance history and historical novels lately--"Sister Queens," "Wolf Hall"--so I would gravitate to that era initially, but I'd quickly branch out to learn about others. Thanks!

  63. wolfkit | | #63

    The Elizabethan era has long been a favourite of mine.

  64. LacyLady | | #64

    I love historical fashion. I enjoy learning about the fashion in many time periods. My favorite is the Victorian Era (and entire 19th century), but I would also like to learn more about earlier periods, especially the 17th and 18th centuries.

  65. putnam | | #65

    Pick me! Pick me!

  66. user-2445767 | | #66

    I would love to learn more on the late 1800s and the late 1940s - 1950s. I incorporate details from different eras into clothes that I wear everyday. I am a needleworker who enjoys learning about the little details.


  67. lorrainem | | #67

    I would love to learn the fashion design of bead work of the first nation/native American princess - headress - and Baby Carrier: Tikinagan

  68. debra078 | | #68

    I would love to learn more about the evolution and history of textiles in different time periods. I am fascinated with fabric,textures and all vintage. I have taken a few on-line courses with tricia nyguen on historical remake of gloves and other garments- it is just so intriguing always more to learn thanks for the opportunity to win

  69. User avater
    PinkRoses14 | | #69

    There isn't anything in the history of costume I wouldn't love to learn more about!!

  70. agatha44 | | #70

    I would love to learn more about many eras, but the early 21st century would be my pick, from 1920-1940. I really hope I win!

  71. lyzeebella | | #71

    I am interested in all fashion eras ... always looking for an authentic touch that can be used for doll couture ... 1900's thru 1940's for comp[ositions, 1950's thru 1970's for hard plastic, and prior to that for antique bisque dolls.

  72. cablough | | #72

    I would love to read and learn more about the fashion of the first half of the eighteenth century. This book looks great!

  73. radanay | | #73

    I would like to learn more about the 1920's - 1940's, and how trends have repeated while society has continued to change and evolve.

  74. DianaHML | | #74

    Regency England and 1960's Mod!

  75. vabney | | #75

    I really like seeing how the styles morphed from one era to another, not just in one era.

  76. User avater
    esmerelda55 | | #76

    i have always loved Fashion History & i could not choose one era! My favorite is the 1920's & 30's...I love to look at all eras to see if i can discover current & past designer's "inspirations"...Thank you Threads for all of the creative dreams!!

  77. janeite | | #77

    I love the early 1800's but the 1920's are becoming a favourite too.

  78. nancyp | | #78

    I'm writing an historical YA novel about Mary Shelley, so I'd love to learn about fashion in the 18th century - as well as the Victorian and Edwardian ages. Fashion reflects what is going on in the culture, so much! It's a window onto things..thanks for the chance of winning this book!

  79. User avater
    CZemke | | #79

    I would love to learn more about the Queen Elizabeth I era in fashion. I would competely enjoy this book.

  80. User avater
    sarah121haras | | #80

    I am such a history and costuming nerd that this is a tough call. But I am going to go with Victorian, since I will soon be prepping to make my first steampunk costume.

  81. JBeanne | | #81

    Love learning more about Russian fashion history and the 1930-40's. This book sounds incredible!

  82. CheriHash | | #82

    Victorian fashion has always atracted me. So fitted and gorgeous. I am probably attracted to corsets because I don't have to wear one in daily life. The military uniforms...ahhh. I think it is that they have so much detail and the details really make the garments.

  83. User avater
    Susanc22 | | #83

    History of Fashion was my favorite course in college. I love it all, from ancient Egypt to present. I tend to love classical 20th century things, though, especially Balenciaga, Schiaparelli, and Chanel. Fashion is such a mirror of society. I have often thought that if history were taught to students through the lens of fashions, so many people would "get it" easier. Would love to have this book!

  84. jacigh | | #84

    I make historical costumes and would love to add this to my library. I often share my personal library books with students as well.

  85. lca | | #85

    What a great book. Have been a Threads fan for years. No one comes close to the quality that Threads has to offer. One of the things I do is theater costumes. I always wonder about the ins and outs, the whys and wherefores as far as the evolution of fashion. It's the little things I want to know about! This book would answer a lot of questions for this curious mind!


  86. User avater
    annenet | | #86

    Love fashion history! It's so influential on what is happening today. I would love that book!

  87. Staresty | | #87

    Which fashion time era would you most like to learn about?

    I will like to learn more about the GEORGIAN ERA please.

  88. User avater
    lynnpaul | | #88

    I've never had a chance to study this, but I loved looking at Renaisance Faire clothing so that might be first!

  89. User avater
    sewhappybjm | | #89

    I would love to learn more about antebellum fashions.

  90. User avater
    DenaturedH2O | | #90

    I'm really interested in the 1960's and 1970's. There was a lot of experimenting with male styles and it was really exciting and really scary what they came up with, but everything seemed unique.

  91. SilksWithAttitude | | #91

    Right now, the late 19th and early 20th Century apparel are holding my attention. The period that interests me changes over time. When I was in college, the Elizabethan and Renaissance era were most interesting. I tend to learn a lot about an era and then move onto a new one -- this is why this book would be a very valuable addition to my Fibers library.

    It also explains why I have nearly every Threads issue from issue 6 on to the present - going back I can find something of interest and value in every issue. Thanks Threads for feeding my passion!!

  92. user-2362363 | | #92

    would love to give this book to my daughter. She is into Rennaisance costumes.

  93. ecasale | | #93

    I would love to learn more about the Victorian era clothing!

  94. dreamlady | | #94

    I love fashion, the book will be a great source of inspiration to me and will be a great guide to me

  95. shuni | | #95

    Ooo everything from the victorian times to now really. thanks for this fun opp.

  96. MaxineP | | #96

    I'm particularly intrigued by fashions from the first half of the 20th Century - clothes that my mother and grandmother wore.

  97. user-319418 | | #97

    Right now, I am obsessed with learning more about the fashions of the Edwardian era.

  98. User avater
    TSWD | | #98

    I really like in the 1900. it is so interesting the evolution of the fashion industry from the WW1 to the WW2 until today!

  99. Suellap | | #99

    I would be particularly interested in the 1820s and 1830s when some of my relatives came to the USA.

  100. Suellap | | #100

    I would be particularly interested in the 1820s and 1830s when some of my relatives came to the USA.

  101. User avater
    kathys120 | | #101

    I'm interested in learning more about non-European National costume from the Renaissance period.

  102. User avater
    Cheriezel | | #102

    the 19-teens have always been my favorite period (before Downton Abby!) and would love to learn more about it!

  103. LilyforMe | | #103

    A comprehensive book for my reference library and a good dose of eye candy.

  104. simspl | | #104

    I am interested in the 1500-1600's. Men, women, children common folk and aristocracy. The styles, fabrics, colors, how dyes were made. Also footwear, head coverings, and cold weather coverings.

  105. laurinka05 | | #105

    I love the 1920's and the Victorian era. I would love to learn to make those clothes.

  106. sewjazzy | | #106

    I love the 1920-70's style era. I would love to have this book.

  107. User avater
    TessaBear | | #107

    My favorite eras are the Victorian and Edwardian. This sounds like a great book.

  108. meswafford | | #108

    I would most like to learn about costumes from 1840-1860, especially for the pioneers and working classes.

  109. user-2002397 | | #109

    I would love to learn about chain stitch done by industry sewing machines on clothing and fabrics, how it has been a forever favorite embellishment, plus the free form technique that is used to produce it. It's just as beautiful as it ever was for so many years!
    Let me add......I have LOVED Threads magazine since the beginning! Even as an industry professional pattern maker of about 30 yrs. now......there is always something I learn from your various pattern making articles.
    Fabulous Threads! Debra

  110. User avater
    Missahope | | #110

    Early 1800's. I find the clothing so intriguing!

  111. User avater
    TiffanyVictoria | | #111

    I would love to learn more about the Art Deco period. For years I have studied Victorian and now I think its time to get a little more Modern!<3 Thanks for the chance to win!

  112. NikkiD | | #112

    I love the costumes from the 1700's; so detailed and ornate!!

  113. user-2094979 | | #113

    The Flapper era has always fascinated me. The freedom of movement, the flow of the cloth and the rising hem lines.
    I really enjoy coming to the website for inspiration instruction.

  114. User avater
    thetailor | | #114

    The fashions of the Renaissance would be what I'd want to study. The structure, the opulence, the materials and just to stretch yourself to the limit it was all done by hand. That clothes were embellished with real silver and gold thread and real pearls and jewels oh yes that this the time period I'd want to study.

  115. user-1110045 | | #115

    I would like to read and learn about the 1950's. Changes in fashion in this era was dramatic compared with the mend and make do era of the 40's. I particularly interested in the evolution of style in this era. Comparing it to today I miss how we don't wear a fancy hat every day with gloves and a lovely designed handbag. This book is just the inspiration I need to make my own 50's gear for myself. This book would also be appreciated by my costume and fashion history group too!

    Thank you Threads for being the premier resource I look forward to reading about sewing and constructing garments.


  116. Sunspot | | #116

    Love the '20s! wish I could go back in time for a few days and go to a few parties!

  117. pjsmith | | #117

    I'd like to learn about the suits from the 1940s.

  118. Sandjen200 | | #118

    The fashion era I would most like to learn about is the Edwardian era. I have a love affair for corsets and corset fashions.

  119. cliftonsummer | | #119

    I'd love to read about the twenties and thirties when fashion bucked the trend and represented the changing roles of brave women who fought for the vote and for the opportunities for women to have careers. They revolted against the constraints of society and the constraints of dress i.e corsets and and minuscule waistlines!!

  120. abby1 | | #120

    I would like to learn more about the era from the end of the Victorian/Edwardian time to the more modern clothes of the 1920's. I would like to know more about the transition, the impact of World War I, and the cultural clashes between the older and new generations as well as how the women adapted. I would also like to hear about the men's perspective on this.

  121. CroomScM | | #121

    I would love to learn about fashion during the Renaissance era!

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