Favourite Costuming Resources

The following is a selection of the more useful resources I have discovered during my research into late 16th Century Spanish fashions. The books and websites are not limited to those concerned with Spanish garments, but also basic garment construction and period fabrics etc.


Alcega, J.
Libro de Geometria, Pratica y Traca
Madrid: 1580.
Facsimile printed by Editorial MAXTOR. Valladolid, 2009.
- Spanish cutting patterns with written descriptions first published in 1580. Very similar to the 1589 edition, but has a gown with the large 'great sleeves'.

Alcega, J.
Libro de Geometria, Pratica y Traca.
Madrid: 1589.
Ed. and trans. by J. Pain & C Bainton. Hollywood: Costume and Fashion Press, 1999
- Spanish cutting patterns with written descriptions published in 1589. Facsimile, translations and glossary. Has a few less diagrams than the 1580 edition, but with clearer layout and text

Anderson, R. M.
Hispanic Costume: 1480 - 1530.
Hispanic Society of America, 1979
- see where the fashions came from in this comprehensive survey of Spanish clothing through art

Arnold, J.
"Elizabethan and Jacobean Smocks and Shirts" Waffen-und Kostumkunde.
19.2 (1977): 89-110

Arnold, J.
A Handbook of Costume.
London: MacMillan London Limited, 1973
- A discussion of the information to be gained from, and the shortcomings of, various costume sources such as portraits, statues, tapestries and more

Arnold, J.
Patterns of Fashion: The cut and construction of clothes for men and women c1560 - 1620.
New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1995
- the go to book for patterns and construction of late sixteenth century garments

Arnold, J.
Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.
London: Costume and Fashion Press, 2001
- contains a brief overview of Spanish fashions and infuence on the wardrobe of Elizabeth I.

Burguen, F.R.
Geometria y traca perteneciente al oficio de sastres.
1618. Ed. and trans. by T. Dupuis. Available at The Renaissance Tailor
- A selection of Spanish cutting patterns with written descriptions published in 1618

Crowfoot, E. and F. Pritchard and K. Staniland.
Textiles and Clothing 1150 - 1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London).
London: Boydell Press, 2001
- a solid grounding on earlier period fabric and methods of stitching.

Defourneaux, M.
Daily Life in Spain in the Golden Age.
Trans. by N. Branch. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd, 1966
- an interesting book containing a few gems related to the sartorial arts

de Freyle, D.
Geometria y Traca papa el Oficio de los Sastres.
1588. Ed. and trans. by T. Dupuis. Available at The Renaissance Tailor
- Spanish cutting patterns for men's clothing with written descriptions published in 1588.

Jones, H.
Archaeological Sewing.
Published online and last modified in 2004
- an invaluable survey of historical sewing techniques.

Landini, R. O. and B. Niccoli, eds.
Moda a Firenze 1540 - 1580: Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza.
Firenze: Pagliai Polistampa, 2005.
- While mostly concerned with Italian garments, some discussion of Spanish Fashion.

Muller, P. E.
Jewels in Spain 1500 - 1800.
New York, Hispanic Society of America, 1972
- everything you could ever want to know about Spanish jewelery - excepting bracelets

Saavedra, S. ed.
Alonso Sanchez Coello y el retrato en la corte de Felipe II.
Museo del Prado, 1990
- the catalogue of a museum exhibition of Coello paintings referencing earlier cutting patterns by Alcega and more. This is the ultimate resource, even if you don't speak or read Spanish


New resources will be added as I discover and evaluate them. Suggestions are very welcome.