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*309690.001

Date: 1929

Maker: Unknown


Black crepe-back satin; sleeveless; round neck, lower in front than back; self binding at neck and sleeve edges; cut very straight to hips; uneven dropped waist seam; circular skirt with foldover hem; occasional tucks in skirt at waist seam to make drape more evenly.


The donor of this dress wore it while she was attending Christian Female College (later Columbia College) in Columbia, Missouri, in 1929. She had purchased it a shop in Memphis, Tennessee, because, as she said, "dresses went down that year." She also wore it to afternoon teas and tea dances at the neighboring University of Missouri. Exhibited in Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America from 1974 to 1979.

Credit: Gift of Mrs. Roy A. Gateley