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About this collection

With over 50,000 costumes and textile artifacts from the mid-18th century to the present, the Chicago History Museum Costume Collection is the second largest in the world and one of the nation’s most complete repositories of fashion. Using a common thread to tell an uncommon story, our collections are woven into the very fabric of our city’s vibrant history.

The breadth of our collection reflects the rise of Chicago as well as the dressmakers, milliners, and manufacturers who made our city their home. Worn by former presidents and first ladies, sports stars, celebrities or everyday people, each piece is a reflection of our connection to Chicago.

 
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