The Worldwide History of Dress (2007)

By: Patricia Rieff Anawalt

The Worldwide History of Dress covers every notable geographical region, historical period and style of costume worldwide – from Upper Paleolithic plant-fibre skirts, Ancient Egyptian linen shifts and Roman togas, through Mongolian shamanic robes, Japanese kimonos and Indian saris, to nineteenth-century Tyrolean dirndls, African ceremonial attire and Middle Eastern burqas.

All aspects of dress and accessories are discussed: men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, headgear, jewelry, armour, decoration, and face and body modification, using an astonishing variety of sources including mosaics, vintage photographs and colour plates of museum-quality displays.

Diagrams explain how garments are worn, line drawings illustrate traditional motifs and designs, and there are over fifty specially commissioned maps.

While tracing influences from culture to culture, this tour-de-force includes descriptions of each region’s population, geography and climate, allowing the reader to understand the development of an area’s clothing customs.

Complete with an extensive reference section.

More Information


New York: Thames & Hudson, 2007.
ISBN: 9780500513637 0500513635
OCLC Number: 180193148
Description: 608 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 29 cm

Table of contents

Table of contents

1. The Middle East: The Ancient Near East; Arabian Peninsula; Eastern Mediterranean; Iranian Plateau
2. Europe: Prehistoric Europe; Classical Europe; European Folk Tradition
3. Central Asia: Mongolia; The Silk Road
4. East Asia: China; Korea; Japan
5. South Asia: India; The Himalayan Kingdoms
6. South East Asia: Mainland; Island
7. Oceania
8. North America: The Arctic; Northwest Coast; Woodlands; Plains; Southwest; Mesoamerica
9. South America: The Ancient Andes; The Present Andes; Amazonia; Patagonia
10. Africa: East Africa; South Africa; Central Africa; West Africa; North Africa

About the author

About the author

Patricia Rieff Anawalt was an international authority on worldwide regional dress, and was Director Emerita of the Center for the Study of Regional Dress at the Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles. She is the author of The Worldwide History of Dress and Shamanic Regalia in the Far North.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Hendrickson, Hildi. “The Worldwide History of Dress. Patricia Rieff Anawalt.” Journal of Anthropological Research 66, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 147-149.

Student reviews