07/18/2012 04:13 pm ET Updated Jul 19, 2012

Chicago History Museum's Digital Costume Collection Debuts (PHOTOS)

Given that Chicago isn't particularly known as one of the nation's most fashion-forward cities, you might be surprised to find out it is home to the world's second largest costume collection.

With over 50,000 costumes and textile artifacts dating from the mid-18th century to the present day, the Chicago History Museum’s costume collection is one of the nation’s most complete fashion repositories, second only to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

Last week, the Chicago History Museum launched its online Digital Collection, meaning you can check it out without even leaving your home! The collection features, to date, 1,382 high-resolution digital images representing nearly four hundred costumes, accessories, and fashion drawings, including all the costume materials exhibited in the museum’s Charles James, Dior, Bertha Palmer, Chic Chicago and I Do exhibitions.

The slideshow below highlights 14 of the most glamorous, iconic garments featured in the collection, which is made possible by the museum's Costume Council.



CHM's Digital Costume Collection