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Fashion/Costume Design Resources: Articles

A guide to resources helpful for researching fashion history and costume design.

Search Terms

Whatever database you search, remember that:

  • More search terms = fewer, more specific results (for example: fashion AND sports AND history). 
  • Fewer search terms = more, broader/less specific results (for example: fashion).


  • To find articles about a specific fashion/costume desinger, search the name of the designer, for example: Coco Chanel.
  • You may also want to search for the fashion label they designed for, for example: Alexander McQueen designed for Givenchy.

Eras/Time Periods

  • To find articles about fashion during a particular era of history, search for terms like fashion AND 1920s or,
  • Try spelling out the decade instead of using numbers: fashion AND nineteen twenties
  • If there is a special term for the time period, use that in your search, for example: fashion AND Belle Epoque
  • If there is a specific fashion trend associated with that era, try searching using those terms.  For example: flapper dresses AND history


  • If you want to focus on fashion of a specific country or city, add that to your search terms.  For example: Ghana AND clothing
  • Also, try adding the nationality to your search.  For example: French AND fashion

Specific Types of Clothing & Accessories

  • Search for the word "history" with the type of clothing or accessory: For example, history AND lingerie

Other terms that may be useful in your searches:

  • Fashion design
  • Fashion designers
  • Fashion photography
  • Fashion shows
  • Clothing industry
  • Clothing and dress
  • Children's clothing
  • Men's clothing
  • Women's clothing


The links below will take you to suggested article databases for researching fashion history.


EBSCO Databases


Subject Guide

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Amanda Pippitt
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