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Costume is the distinctive style of dress of an individual or group that reflects class, gender, profession, ethnicity, nationality, activity or epoch.

The term also was traditionally used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as riding costume, swimming costume, dance costume, and evening costume. Appropriate and acceptable costume is subject to changes in fashion and local cultural norms.

"But sable is worn more in carriages, lined with real lace over ivory satin, and worn over some smart costume suitable for an afternoon reception." A Woman's Letter from London (23 November 1899).

This general usage has gradually been replaced by the terms "dress", "attire", "robes" or "wear" and usage of "costume" has become more limited to unusual or out-of-date clothing and to attire intended to evoke a change in identity, such as theatrical, Halloween, and mascot costumes.

Before the advent of ready-to-wear apparel, clothing was made by hand. When made for commercial sale it was made, as late as the beginning of the 20th century, by "costumiers", often women who ran businesses that met the demand for complicated or intimate female costume, including millinery and corsetry.

Costume Media

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A woman wearing a headdress

A woman wearing a headdress

Format: Hand painted lantern slides...Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication...Part Of: Powerhouse Museum Collection.. ( http:// ) .. 415100 ( http:// 415100 ) ..Acquisition credit line: G... More

Glass double-headed pendant
Anklet, Reconstructed Using Claw Pendants and Barrel Beads
Head of Silenos, Cyprus
Carved Plaque of Amenhotep III
Electrotype copy of a gold bracelet, Cyprus
Gold and garnet strap diadem with Herakles knot
Anklet, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC

Anklet, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC

From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Tomb 954, Burial 954E, MMA excavations, 1921–22 Middle Kingdom

Knotted bracelet, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC)
Amulet of the God Thoth
Amulet of the God Re-Horakhty
Bronze shield boss, bronze, Etruscan
Metal Earring, bronze, Cyprus

Metal Earring, bronze, Cyprus

Accession Number: 74.51.5475

Earring, trumpet-shaped
Pair of Arm Bands, arts of africa oceania and the americas
Amulet of a Necklace Counter Weight
Disk Brooch with Cameo

Disk Brooch with Cameo

The Langobards often embellished their own jewelry with gems carved centuries earlier by Roman or Etruscan craftsmen. These gems, valued for their antiquity, linked their Langobardic wearers to the illustrious ... More

Amulet of the God Horus
Amulet of the God Bes
Amulet of the God Bes
笄|Hairpin, Japan, final Jomon period
Mask and Foot Cover of  "Corn Mummy"
Hairpin, Alexandria, Egypt, 300 BC - 641 AD
Limestone head of a youth with wreath, Cyprus
Scaraboid: Fish, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Semi-diadem, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC

Semi-diadem, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC

From Egypt, Southern Upper Egypt, Hierakonpolis (Nekhen), Fort Cemetery (Hk 27), Tomb 81, MMA excavations, 1934–35 Predynastic, Naqada II

Scarab: Floral Motifs, Hieroglyphs, and Geometric Designs
Amulet of a Serpent on a Stela
Amulet of the Goddess Isis
Amulet of the God Horus
Jewelry Elements, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Roman Pair of gold earrings

Roman Pair of gold earrings

In the form of rings of twisted gold. Imperial

Pendant in the Shape of a Bird
Pair of sandals, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II
One of a Pair of Overlapping Undecorated Anklets
Ribbed Penannular Earring, Egypt, Early New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BCE
Collar with drop beads that is an element in a pectoral
Belt Buckle with Kulans Attacked by Wolves
Amulet of the Goddess Isis with Horus as a Child
Amulet of a Vulture, Egypt, Late Period (525-332 BCE)
Amulet of a Forked Lance (Pesekh-kef)
Amulet of the God Shu
Bangle with Raised Decoration, bronze and iron age period
Necklace in Gold Filagree of Queen Tausret
Roman Necklace

Roman Necklace

Glass objects, Roman Empire.

Necklace, Egypt, The Middle Kingdom - Early New Kingdom 2040 - 1550 BCE

Necklace, Egypt, The Middle Kingdom - Early New Kingdom 2040 - 1550 BC...

From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Cemetery, Radim, MMA excavations Middle Kingdom–Early New Kingdom

Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Gold and copper alloy spiral with lion-head terminal
Greek Gold slipknot strap necklace

Greek Gold slipknot strap necklace

The length can be adjusted by sliding the two straps through the central bead. Hellenistic

Greek Gold bracelet, gold
Gold hoop with glass pendant in the form of a youthful head with negroid features
Greek Gold earring with figure
Gold openwork hairnet with medallion
Pendant in the Shape of a Bird

Pendant in the Shape of a Bird

Accession Number: 2009.87 Neolithic–Erlitou period (ca. 2000–1500 B.C.)

Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II
Amulet of the Goddess Taweret (Thoeris)
Roman Earring with paste setting

Roman Earring with paste setting

Glass objects, Roman Empire.

Earring, slit, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC

Earring, slit, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550 -1070 BC

Accession Number: 74.51.4460 New Kingdom

Diadem, bronze, Europe, medieval
Bow Fibula, bronze, ancient Greek
Beaded Bracelet from Baki's Burial

Beaded Bracelet from Baki's Burial

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb of Neferkhawet (MMA 729), east chamber, Burial of Baki (III), MMA excavations, 1934–35 New Kingdom

Belt Plaque with Horse and Wolf
Necklace, bronze, Europe, Irish
Necklace, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Pair of bracelets, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Scarab: Uninscribed, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Scarab: Hieroglyphs (Red Crown, nfr- and nb-Signs: Trigramme of Amun)
Inlay (?) in form of a Cartouche
Bangle, bronze and iron age period, Vietnam
Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China

Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China

Accession Number: 51.134.4 late Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 B.C.)

Eye of Horus (Wedjat) Amulet
Amulet of a Djed Pillar
Bangle, bronze and iron age period, Vietnam
Amulet of the God Anubis
Amulet of Isis Holding Horus
Head of a comic figurine
Earring, baule type
Earring or spiral, bronze

Earring or spiral, bronze

Accession Number: 74.51.3343

Belt, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC
Belt Plaque with Tigers and Dragon
Earring, baule type, Greek and Roman art
Earring with head of ibex
Standing female figure, Cyprus, cypro archaic ii
Maenad-head earrings, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BCE)
Poncho Displaying Contorted Figures
Miniature Mask for a Canopic bundle
Papyrus plant bent to the right that is an element from a pectoral
Byzantine Pectoral with Coins and Pseudo-Medallion
Electrotype copy of a gold bracelet, Cyprus
Gold and copper alloy spiral earring with lion-griffin head terminal
Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Bracelet, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC
Feline-Headed Girdle, Anklets, and Bracelets of Princess Sithathoryunet
Gold earring with head of a lion

Gold earring with head of a lion

Circlet of twisted gold wire, which tapers from the animal's head at the front end to a hooked point which passes through a loop below its throat. Classical or Hellenistic

Bow Fibula, bronze, ancient Greek
Pin Shank, bronze, ancient Greek
Tweezers, Egypt, Art Institute of Chicago
Bracelet, copper alloy, Europe
Beaded Penannular Earring, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
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