Brown Plaid Day Dress

Brief Item Record

Title: Brown Plaid Day Dress

Date: 1850-1870

Description: ; brown silk with cream brown and black plaid, brown polished cotton, black cotton hem band, metal hook and eyes and snaps, covered buttons full skirt, fitted bodice with higher waist fitted bodice, two waist darts in front, princess seem at back ; two piece sleeve, ruching from shoulder to cuff and around cuff, black lace at cuff; seven non functional covered buttons at center front with interior hooks and eyes; high collar; full floor length skirt, pleats in front and back, one inverted pleat in center back; wide ruffle at hem, box pleats; polished cotton lining with wool hem band; snaps at waist

Full Item Record

Dublin Core

Identifier

VC2001149

Title

Brown Plaid Day Dress

Description

; brown silk with cream brown and black plaid, brown polished cotton, black cotton hem band, metal hook and eyes and snaps, covered buttons full skirt, fitted bodice with higher waist fitted bodice, two waist darts in front, princess seem at back ; two piece sleeve, ruching from shoulder to cuff and around cuff, black lace at cuff; seven non functional covered buttons at center front with interior hooks and eyes; high collar; full floor length skirt, pleats in front and back, one inverted pleat in center back; wide ruffle at hem, box pleats; polished cotton lining with wool hem band; snaps at waist

Date

1850-1870

Subject

Clothing and dress

Extent

28.5 inches (chest), 25 inches (waist), 33.5 inches (hips), 11.5 inches (center front length), 14.5 inches (center back length), 96 inches (hem circumference), 7 inches (underarm to waist). other measurements: neck: 14 arm length: 18.75

Type

Physical Object

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Rights Holder

© Vassar College Costume Collection. Images in this collection may be used for teaching, classroom presentation, and research purposes only. For other reuse, reproduction and publication of these images, contact costumeshop@vassar.edu.

Costume Item Type Metadata

Cataloguer with Date

Turpin, Starr, Thompson, Boesche 3/3/2010

Color Main

Chest

28.5

Waist

25

Hips

33.5

Center Front Length

11.5

Center Back Length

14.5

Hem Circumference

96

Underarm to Waist

7

Measurements Other

neck: 14 arm length: 18.75

All Measurements

28.5 inches (chest), 25 inches (waist), 33.5 inches (hips), 11.5 inches (center front length), 14.5 inches (center back length), 96 inches (hem circumference), 7 inches (underarm to waist). other measurements: neck: 14 arm length: 18.75

Date Earliest

1850

Date Latest

1870

Culture

Gender

Classification

costume
clothing

Category

Function

Exhibitions

The First Students (2017)

Public Information

This brown, plaid day dress can be historically situated, like the establishment of Vassar College, in the 1860s.

Concerning its structure, the sleeves of the garment begin on the upper part of the arm, slightly below the natural shoulder. Its bodice hugs the torso of the body from the shoulders down to the waist, where it immediately widens into a round skirt. The dress would be worn with a hoopskirt and crinoline petticoat underneath, filling out the round shape of the skirt. Finally, silk taffeta was a commonly used fabric in the late 19th-century because of its crisp, yet smooth consistency that provided enough body to enhance the fullness of the skirt.

It is no surprise that the stylistic elements of this dress produce a daywear garment that is conservative. Wealthy women who were organizing the beginnings of the women’s rights movement, attending schools such as Vassar College, or working during the Civil War sought out crinoline day-dresses that could be worn with hoop skirts underneath instead of several petticoats because they were more comfortable. They also thought that simple patterns and subdued colors were more proper and presentable for class and work. One might find it interesting to observe how this idea of “properness” required for the average school day has changed from the 1860s to now.

Tortora, Phyllis, and Keith Eubank. “The Crinoline Period .” Survey of Historic Costume, Fairchild Books, an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.


Written by: Luke Morrison ‘18, Molly Lipkowitz ‘20, Noah Pliss 20’

Condition Term

good

Condition Description

Many tiny holes ; Armpit stains ; Torn lace

Storage Location

F5

Work Type

Pattern

Citation

“Brown Plaid Day Dress,” Vassar College Costume Collection, accessed September 26, 2023, https://vccc.vassarspaces.net/items/show/990.

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