Brassiere, 1908-1910

  The brassiere appeared on the fashion scene about 1904 or 1905. Of course, women wore brassiere-like garments before this date, but they went by other names depending on the time and place in which they were worn. In the 19th century, these garments... Read Article ››

Man’s dressing gown, 1905-1915

  Throughout the 19th and into the first decade of the 20th century, mainstream formal and business dress for men was a black suit and light colored (often white) shirt paired with a black bow-tie. Constructed from durable wool and lacking all... Read Article ››

S-bend silhouette

The S-bend silhouette emerged about 1900 and reigned supreme until the end of the decade. Created by a specific style of corset, the S-bend is characterized by a rounded, forward leaning torso with hips pushed back. This shape earned the silhouette its name;... Read Article ››

Combination undergarments

  Combination undergarments, which combined chemise and drawers into one garment, first appeared in the late 1860s or early 1870s. By the 1890s, combinations had largely replaced the long chemise worn over a separate pair of drawers. The advantage of... Read Article ››


Despite the fact that knitting and crochet employ similar tools (hands, yarn and a long, pointed implement) crochet is often labeled the "other yarn craft." This remains true even within the context of the early 21st century, which has given rise to... Read Article ››

Traveling dusters

A traveling duster is a loose fitting outer garment worn to shield clothing from the dirt, dust and grime of travel. Though protective outer garments have been used for centuries to shield workers from the hazards of their trade, traveling dusters are unique... Read Article ››

Irene Castle dancing cap

Between 1911 and 1917, Irene and Vernon Castle were at the forefront of a "craze" for social dancing. Usually called "modern dance" at the time, social dance was promoted as form of healthy and enjoyable recreation. Accompanied by lively... Read Article ››

Tunic dress, c. 1912

In 1912, fashionable dress was a combination of classical and orientalist elements. The silhouette was slim and high-waisted with an emphasis on the vertical line. A draped surplice bodice, waist sash or overtunic provided the requisite touch of drapery.... Read Article ››

Hand painted silk ensemble, c. 1925

Child's "Dainty Blossom" Ensemble Daisy Stanford Hand-painted silk c. 1925 Museum Purchase 2003.5.24A-C Hand-painted novelties, including dresses, scarves and ribbons, enjoyed a burst of popularity in the teens and twenties. A Paris fashion... Read Article ››

Textile swatches

Today’s post features a hodge-podge collection of textile swatches presented with a minimum of commentary and contextualization. We’ll be back to our usual posts next week. In the meantime, enjoy these striking textiles! Designed as European... Read Article ››

Masculine dress?

In the early 20th century, women who chose to wear bifurcated garments (i.e. trousers) outside of the gymnasium or off the playing field risked public censure. Though women had been wearing full, almost skirt-like trousers for sporting activities since the... Read Article ››

Mirrorwork embroidery

Though the focus of the FIDM Museum collection is on objects related to Western European and North American dress, we do have a small number of outstanding objects related to the sartorial traditions of other cultures and countries. Many of these objects,... Read Article ››