Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Costume Collection - Women's Dresses

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Dress, 1-Piece - click to enlarge

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Dress, 1-Piece

Catalogue number: CS*053828

Date: 1825-1835

Maker: Unknown


Red silk gauze shot with gold metallic thread, in wavy lines; wide neck with red satin piping at edge; two radiating darts on either side of center front; attached waistband, which drops to a V at center front, stiffened and bound with red satin; seven long red satin bands, trimmed with self-piping, radiate from waist to neck; center back opening closed with seven metal hooks and eyes; five decorative bands with self-piping radiate from waist to neck on back; bodice and waistband entirely lined with white silk; large, unlined leg-of-mutton sleeves, each cut in a single piece and pleated into upper armscye (armhole); armscye piped; large cotton-wool-filled bolster on inside of upper portion of sleeve; sleeve finished with band of red satin with piping at upper portion; skirt pleated near center front and center back onto inner waistband; skirt relatively full, with wadded red satin roll at hem; two bias cut ruffles with satin band at bottom trim skirt; wadded satin roll covers seam where ruffles attach to skirt.


This dress was worn by a member of the Adams Clement family. There has always been some speculation that it might have been worn by Louisa Catherine Adams (Mrs. John Quincy Adams) but there is no documentary evidence to support that conclusion. However, the dressmaker that made this dress was highly skilled and knew the latest fashions.

Credit: Gift of Mary Louisa Adams Clement