I've been doing lots of research lately on 18th century fashion, which of course involves lots of online searching and looking at pics of paintings and extant clothing (it's hard, but I'm willing to suffer for my work, LOL!) One great feature is the search engine on the Metropolitan Museum website (just type in the years you're looking for, i.e. 1700-1800 or whatever, and click on Costume Institute. It's also a great way to find portraits of the era). I think this is my very favorite era of fashion.
Here are a few of the stunningly beautiful things I've found there:
I'll be posting more images here in the next week or so, so stay tuned!