Morning gown, c. 1895

For the Victorian woman, correct dress was an essential component of social acceptance. Women of the aristocratic classes and the nouveaux riche changed outfits multiple times each day, always with the knowledge that dress played a crucial role in determining... 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 ››

Wheat motif

Widespread cultural preoccupations or anxieties are often expressed through dress. This can be extremely overt, as in the case of a T-shirt slogan, or much more discreet, as in a frequently recurring decorative motif. In the 19th century, anxiety relating to... Read Article ››

Smocked frock

Between the 1750s and the late 19th century, rural Englishmen wore voluminous smocks when working outdoors. Usually made of rough homespun, most smocks had long, full sleeves and ended at mid-calf. Though entirely functional, smocks often featured decorative... Read Article ››

Bohemian dress for children

Bohemians were figures of both fascination and fun in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A typical Bohemian was often artistically or politically inclined and was willing to step outside the bounds of conventional society. The highest Bohemian ideal was... Read Article ››