Evening shoes

  Brocade T-Strap Evening Pump Woodward & Lothrop c. 1927 Silk brocade, leather, rhinestone and metal Gift of Vicky Stevenson S2008.948.2A/B During the 1920s and into the 1930s, T-strap shoes were popular for both day and evening wear. This... Read Article ››

Folding fans

  During an early summer trip to Japan several years ago, I was fascinated to see that folding paper fans were more than just a tourist souvenir. Stores of all types and sizes sold paper fans printed with imagery ranging from cute children's... Read Article ››

Evening glamour, c. 1922

Evening dress c. 1922 Gift of Laura Stoneman 96.657.2 During the 1920s, nightlife was an important aspect of popular culture. In the United States, the Prohibition of alcohol led to the rise of speakeasies, where patrons could dine, dance and drink in an... Read Article ››

Texture in fashion

Color and pattern are usually the first aspects of a garment to catch the eye, closely followed by silhouette. But what about texture? Though texture might not be the first thing we notice, it plays an important role in establishing the mood of a garment.... Read Article ››

Sailor suits

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, young boys and girls were often dressed in sailor suits. Worn as both school uniforms and everyday dress, the popularity of the style was sparked by this 1846 Winterhalter portrait of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales.... Read Article ››

The Little Black Dress

During the nineteenth century, black clothing was usually worn to signify a special status, i.e. mourning, religious piety, extreme poverty or a position of economic and social authority. Because many professional men adopted black suit coats after 1850,... 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 ››

1920s cloche

Some of you are probably wondering why we didn't discuss the close-fitting cloche hat featured in our most recent post, 1920s silhouette. Given its iconic status as the IT hat of the 1920s, we thought the cloche deserved its own entry. Though the term... Read Article ››

1920s silhouette

The slim, youthful silhouette of 1920s fashion signaled the emergence of a new ideal of feminine beauty. Unlike her predecessors of the late 19th century, who favored the silhouette of a mature, well-endowed woman swathed in layers of fabric, the 1920s woman... 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 ››