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This general usage has gradually been replaced by the terms "dress", "attire", "robes" or "wear" and usage of "costume" has become more limited to unusual or out-of-date clothing and to attire intended to evoke a change in identity, such as theatrical, Halloween, and mascot costumes.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

Greek Earring, crescent-shaped, gold
Earring with ball pendant and paste setting
Anklet of Wah, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Bee facing to right that is an element  from a pectoral
Greek Mask of a satyr

Greek Mask of a satyr

Accession Number: 10.210.138

Pair of Ribbed Penannular Earrings
Pomegranate Earring, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC

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

See 01.4.1a From Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos, Cemetery D, Tomb D99, Egypt Exploration Fund excavations New Kingdom

Gold and beryl earring
Hinged Cuff Bracelet, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China

Chinese Belt Hook, bronze, China

Eastern Zhou dynasty–early Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)

Gold, beryl, and garnet earring with head of a doplhin
Circlet necklace, Egypt, Late Middle Kingdom / Second Intermediate Period, 1650-1550 BCE
String of 4 Eyed Beads

String of 4 Eyed Beads

From Egypt New Kingdom

Terracotta bull's mask
Miniature bronze shield, bronze, Etruscan

Miniature bronze shield, bronze, Etruscan

Miniature bronze replica of a shield. Classical

Scarab: Linear Motifs, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Gold boat-shaped earrings with lions' heads

Gold boat-shaped earrings with lions' heads

Boat-shaped earrings with lion-head terminals in repoussé. Classical

Amulet of the God Thoth
Amulet in the Shape of Two Ducks
Amulet of the Goddesses Isis and Nephthys with Horus Standing Between
Amulet of a Djed Pillar
Amulet of the God Bes
Necklace with Bastet Pendant, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC)

Necklace with Bastet Pendant, Egypt, Third Intermediate Period (1070–6...

From Egypt, Middle Egypt, Deir Rifa, Tomb 329, BSAE excavations 1906-1907 Third Intermediate Period or later

Greek Comic mask, Greece
Earring with pendant of grapes

Earring with pendant of grapes

Accession Number: 98.11.49

Earring with head of lion-griffin
Bracelet, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC

Bracelet, Predynastic Egypt, 6000 - 3150 BC

From Egypt Predynastic Period

Bracelet with 4 wedjat eyes, 2 barrel beads, and 1 acacia bead
Broad collar of Senebtisi, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC

Broad collar of Senebtisi, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC

From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Tomb of Senwosret (758), Pit 763, burial of Senebtisi, MMA excavations, 1906–07 Middle Kingdom

Bracelet with Spiral Designs, bronze
Ribbon Torc, Medieval, Ireland
Ribbed Penannular Earring, Egypt, Early New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BCE

Ribbed Penannular Earring, Egypt, Early New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BCE

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb CC 37, burial 83, Carnarvon/Carter excavations Second Intermediate Period–Early New Kingdom

Ribbed Penannular Earring, Egypt, Early New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BCE

Ribbed Penannular Earring, Egypt, Early New Kingdom 1550 - 1070 BCE

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb CC 37, burial 83, Carnarvon excavations Second Intermediate Period–Early New Kingdom

Scarab Inscribed with a Hieroglyphic Motif

Scarab Inscribed with a Hieroglyphic Motif

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut, Foundation Deposit 9 (I), MMA excavations, 1926–27 New Kingdom

Scarab: Menkheperura (Thutmose IV), New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Greek Wreaths, 6, Laconia, Greece

Greek Wreaths, 6, Laconia, Greece

Accession Number: 24.195.174

Pair of Earrings (with 16.10.416)

Pair of Earrings (with 16.10.416)

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Courtyard CC 41, Pit 3, Burial B 1, On body, MMA excavations, 1915–16 Second Intermediate Period–Early New Kingdom

Pendant with Buffalo Head
Embroidered Mantle Fragment, arts of africa oceania and the americas
Penannular Earring, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC

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

From Egypt; Probably from Northern Upper Egypt, Deir el-Ballas New Kingdom

Antique necklace Torc, copper alloy
Ring, China
Ring: Menmaatre (Seti), New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Ring: Figure of Tawaret (Thoeris)
Eye of Horus (Wedjat) Amulet
Bracelet of Wah, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 2040 – 1640 BC
Bracelet, bronze

Bracelet, bronze

Accession Number: X.21.119

Bracelets or Anklets of Neferkhawet (3)
Mask for a crocodile mummy
Mask of a woman with corkscrew locks and ball earrings
Archaic Limestone female head
Large Brooch with Spirals, copper alloy
Scarab: Uninscribed, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Greek Wreaths, 11, Laconia, Greece

Greek Wreaths, 11, Laconia, Greece

Accession Number: 24.195.161

Earring, crescent-shaped
Embroidered Mantle Fragment, arts of africa oceania and the americas
Coffin and Corn Mummy with Osiris mask
String of Ball Beads, Egypt, The Middle Kingdom - Early New Kingdom 2040 - 1550 BCE

String of Ball Beads, Egypt, The Middle Kingdom - Early New Kingdom 20...

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

Scaraboid: Hedgehog, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Glass double-headed pendant with gold hoop
Earring or spiral, bronze, Cyprus

Earring or spiral, bronze, Cyprus

Gold plated bronze. Classical

Earring with bull head terminal
Earring, baule type
Bangle, bronze and iron age period, Vietnam
Amulet of a Plummet, Egypt, Art Institute of Chicago
Amulet in the Shape of a Female Figure, possibly the Goddess Isis (?)
Amulet of the Harpoon of Horus
Amulet of the Goddess Bastet
Biconical Bead, bronze, ancient Greek
Scarab: Nebmaatra (Amenhotep III), New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
String of carnelian, beryl and steatite drop beads
Bronze annular earring, bronze, Europe

Bronze annular earring, bronze, Europe

Bronze hoop earring. Bronze Age

Pre Columbian Pair of Earrings
Bracelet or armlet with uraei

Bracelet or armlet with uraei

From Egypt, Central Delta, Tell el-Balamun (Diospolis Inferior), Carnarvon/Carter excavations, 1913 Ptolemaic or Roman Period

Miniature broad collar, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BCE)
Carved Plaque from a Bracelet
Gold earring with glass beads
Gold earring with head of a bull

Gold earring with head of a bull

Classical or Hellenistic

Kilt or Sash, New Kingdom, Egypt, 1550  -1070 BC
Ear Spools
Nose Ornament, 3rd century
Bow-Shaped Brooch, copper alloy
Amulet of a Lion-Headed Goddess
Amulet of a Reclining Cow
Gold lion's head bracelet with copper-alloy core
Mask, arts of africa oceania and the americas
Amulet of the God Duamutef (one of the four Sons of Horus)
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

Ear Spools
Gold necklace of beads and tubes
Pendant in the Shape of an Arc, Eastern Zhou dynasty

Pendant in the Shape of an Arc, Eastern Zhou dynasty

Accession Number: 2009.88a–c Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 B.C.)

Scarab: Animal Motifs (Bird, Antelope, Hippopotamus)
Pair of Spiral Earrings (with 16.10.467)
Earring, baule type
Amulet of the God Anubis
Chinese Girdle pendant, Han Dynasty

Chinese Girdle pendant, Han Dynasty

Accession Number: 13.40.110 Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220)

Etruscan Earring, Italy

Etruscan Earring, Italy

Ring form with ball attached near one end. Accession Number: 95.15.209

Italic Bronze necklace spiral, bronze
Gold and carnelian boat-shaped earring
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