The costume collection comprises largely of women's garments from the late 19th century to the 1980s including items from designers such as Jean Muir, Vivienne Westwood and Glasgow company Marian Donaldson. Key items include a corset and corseted bodices, christening gowns and caps in Ayrshire whitework, wedding dresses, accessories such as gloves and scarves and lace and broderie anglaise collars and cuffs.Collections such as Bernat Klein and E Y Johnston also feature costumes from the 1960s to 1970s.
The W & O Marcus collection of design drawings and dress patterns from London based fashion house is of particular interest. The company was founded by German Jewish emigrants Walter and Otto Marcus who fled persecution in the 1930s to settle in Britain. During the blitz in WWII they moved the manufacturing workshop to Hawick due to their connections with their designer Otto Weisz and remained there until the mid 1960s. The firm had a ready to wear label Marcusa as well as creating couture garments. The collection includes around 1,000 beautifully drawn original designs from 1947 to 1960.