Must Have List: Georgian Costume
My costume library is huge (total overkill for the average researcher who just wants to know what her characters would have been wearing), but here are a few books that I think are essential to anyone writing Georgian (including Regency) set novels:
History of Underclothes by C. Willet Cunnington (ISBN: 0486271242)
It’s cheap ($6-$12), fairly accurate, and easy to digest.
Fashion by The Kyoto Costume Institute (ISBN: 3822812064)
The 2-volume Tashen edition can be had for about $8 from The Strand in NY (check Abe Books). The first volume contains all the pictures from Revolution in Fashion: European Clothing, 1715-1815 (which is going for a cool $225 on Amazon right now!) PLUS the second volume takes you up through the Victorian era and into modern fashion.Jane Austen Fashion by Penelope Byrde (ISBN: 1900318121)
A fantastic little book filled with information from Jane's letters,
contemporary fashion plates, and more. Byrde's other opus The Male Image is the Holy Grail of men's costume through the ages. If you ever find a copy for less than $50 grab it! You won't be sorry.
Obviously no list will ever be comprehensive or complete, but these three are a great place to start. Somewhere down the line I’ll put up a post for lunatics and costume freaks (or people who just have too much dang money).