The Culture of Clothing: Dress and Fashion in the Ancien Regime

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Newly avilable in paperback, this major contribution to cultural history is a study of dress in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Daniel Roche discusses general approaches to the history of dress, locates the subject within current French historiography and uses a large sample of inventories to explore the differences between the various social classes in the amount they spent and the kind of clothes they wore. His essential argument is that there was a 'vestimentary revolution' in the later eighteenth century as all sections of the population became caught up in the world of fashion and fast-moving consumption.