Dressing Up Info
  Welcome! FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Dressing Up Info

This site is brand new, and therefore hasn't had a chance to actually accumulate frequently asked questions. But, in anticipation, we will use the FAQ format anyway, and add to it as questions come up.

Q: What is the purpose of this site, why these decades in history?
A: There are many men (and women who make clothes for men) who would like to research men's costume, but there are few good books on the subject. However, there are many books on costume that are full of women's clothes, and have only one or two male figures. If all of these bits of artwork showing male figures are collected here, in one place, it will be as good as having a book on the subject. The mid-19th century was chosen to start with because, since CA was settled then, there are many local organizations and events looking to reconstruct and display this time in history.

Q: Where did the pictures come from?
A: In the San Francisco Bay area, there is a group of friends who frequent Victorian balls and make costumes for such; over the years we have each collected antique prints and/or real antique garments, and these have been photographed or scanned to go on the site. Also occasionally when a costume book is intended as a women's reference, but there happens to be one man in it, we have scanned him in and added him too. Friends have (and will) collect from friends and pass things in, so that the site can grow.

Q: How can I send you one of my pictures?
A: Please send an email to dressingupinfo at yahoo, and describe what you have. We are looking for original source material, so please no pictures of reproduction costumes, no matter how good, nor redrawings of period styles. Scans of fashion magazine pages or tailoring ads are ideal, as are photographs of real antique garments that show their seams.

Q: I have a book with tons of men's costumes. Why don't I see any of those pictures here?
A: We are very careful to respect books' content and their copyrights. If a museum publishes a book with photographs of their costume collection, all those photos are copyright to the museum so we don't want to use them. Or, when someone has written a book specifically on men's costume, and gone through the trouble of collecting many pictures and lablelling them, we are not going to just swipe them all. That would be rude and disrespectful, not to mention illegal. So books on men's costume we leave entirely alone. We would rather focus on tracking down stray drawings from odd sources; for example, a book on the history of medicine might have a picture of a Victorian doctor. The costume is incindental to the purpose of the author but very useful for us, so the author is likely to let us borrow it. If anyone ever finds that a photo of your garment or a scan of your image has found its way here without your permission, you are welcome to email us, dressingupinfo at yahoo, and we will take it down.

Q: What books are these, that have more than a few good pictures for men?
A: Let's start a bibliography/further reading list for you, and watch that grow too:
  • A History of Men's Fashion, Farid Chenoune, isbn 2-08013-536-8
  • The Cut of Men's Clothes, Norah Waugh, isbn 0-87830-025-2
  • Four Hundred Years of Fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum, isbn 1-85177-116-6
  • L'Album, Musee de la Mode & du Textile, isbn 2-7118-3475-1 (good 1700s, not much 1800s)
  • 20,000 Years of Fashion, Francois Boucher, isbn 0-8109-1693-2