The portal page to the new online clothing and accessory exhibit from Colonial Williamsburg.
"Historic Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing" explores in glorious depth and detail the incredible costume collection of Colonial Williamsburg. Drawing upon both the current accessories exhibit and their 2002 "The Language of Clothing" display (which was heaven, and I'd give almost anything to persuade them to mount it again!), this digital exhibit is organized to educate and dazzle both the newcomer to fashion history and the seasoned enthusiast. The "Learn" portion explains the important aspects and terms of 18th century dress, from the parts of a formal gown to the pieces of an everyday man's wardrobe to the curiosities that were the fashionable accessory pieces of the day. From these pages, one can easily link directly into the "Explore" half of the exhibit, which is a treasure-trove of accessories, gowns, jackets, prints, and shoes. Each item is accompanied by a description and some pretty incredible zoom capabilities that are clear enough even to offer glimpses at the stitches in garment seams.
So stop wasting time reading this post and start exploring! You can link to the exhibit from the Online Exhibits and Multimedia page of CW's museums website (where you'll also find much more to see!).
The zoom function on the individual items allows incredible close-up views of the items
and their construction techniques.