What is the difference between costume and fashion? Good question! It’s often the first thing addressed in a program on fashion studies – what words do we use to talk about clothing? Many “fashion museums” in fact used to be called museums of costume, but today that word is used more for clothing that is outside the realm of everyday dress. Below are some of the categories of clothing that we use the word costume to refer to, and museums that focus on these interesting collections that are such an important part of historical clothing.