Throughout history, clothes have been worn not only for warmth and protection but also, with constant variety and innovation, to convey status, wealth, occupation, personality, and social and moral values. Joan Nunn's detailed survey of costume in the Western world over the past eight centuries not only gives the reader a vivid visual impression of the clothes themselves but also outlines the historical and social background and the changes in manufacturing techniques and fashionable lifestyle that have influenced the way costume has developed and the manner in which it has been worn. Each of the eight chapters covers a specific period, with an introductory section followed by descriptions of the undergarments, outer garments, hats, footwear, hairstyles, accessories, jewelry, fabrics, and colors worn by men, women, and children. There are more than 800 line drawings especially made by the author from contemporary sources such as carvings, paintings, portraits, fashion plates, and photographs. This is an invaluable, copiously illustrated reference book for students of costume, social history, and the visual arts and for those involved in designing costumes for the theatre. It is also a fascinating book for anyone interested in fashion and the art of dress.