Online Fashion
History Resource

19th century striped dress on mannequin

The Fashion History Timeline is an online reference, research, and teaching tool for art history students, scholars, and the general public. Created by FIT History of Art faculty and both graduate and undergraduate students, the timeline features essays analyzing dress in works of art, an illustrated fashion dictionary, chronological overviews of period styles, and characteristic dress silhouettes from antiquity to the 19th century. The expertise of FIT’s faculty and resources like the FIT’s Department of Special Collections and the Museum at FIT make FIT uniquely suited to provide this new, scholarly resource.

  • Why did particolored garments become popular in the Middle Ages?
  • How can you distinguish the fashion of the 1630s from that of the 1640s?
  • What was the significance of Benedikt von Hertenstein’s clothing in his 1517 portrait by Hans Holbein?

If you turn to the internet for answers to these questions today, you will find few reliable resources and little to no guidance on how to learn more. At best, you’ll land on Wikipedia or a historical enthusiast’s blog and be unsure how credible they are. While these are specialized questions, even basic information on fashion history is largely absent online. FIT’s Fashion History Timeline makes this information accessible in an academically sound manner that is free to use.

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