This thick reference book will look great on your coffee table... I've referenced it more times than I can count- if you are interested in historical costuming, this is a must have for a jumping point to do more research. It shows an overview of history through fashion, though I must admit the reading didn't draw me in, despite several attempts to drudge through it. More than anything, this book is full of copies of primary and secondary sources- both photographs of museum artifacts and details of paintings and sculptures. It has some nice information on Egyptian and Roman fashion in the beginning, but other than that its primary focus is on Anglo-Saxon oriented fashion. It must be stressed that this book is not an end all and be all when it comes to the word on fashion- though it provides a useful and generalized overview, and it may happen to have what you are looking for, it does completely ignore some very important years/fashions (example: Tudor, late 1400-mid 1500s! ). Caveat emptor, more for art fans and theatre costumers than die hard history buffs, but overall a good buy.
This book is full of excellent 1st degree research. I have used it on multiple occassions to set me on the right track for doing intensive research on a variety of periods. It does lack a bit in non-Western costume, but the periods it does cover are done very well. Its a great reference book to have around.