Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Costume Collection - Women's Dresses

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Dress, 3-Piece - click to enlarge

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Dress, 3-Piece

Catalogue number: CS*309946.005

Date: 1950

Maker: Unknown


Red and white check gingham cotton dress with red plastic belt; DRESS-center front opening for entire length of dress; dress closes with 18 worked buttonholes and 18 round red buttons, with hook-and-eye closure at waist; stand pocket at either side of center front at bust; foldover collar; dart on either side of center front opening; side seams; center back seam; dart on either side of center back; long kimono sleeves; underarm gusset; foldover cuff on sleeves; skirt cut on bias and lightly gathered at waist; foldover hem; TIE-separate self-fabric tie with one worked buttonhole for insertion over button on neck of dress; trimmed with round red buttons; BELT-red plastic.


The donor, a physician's wife in Los Angeles, purchased this dress from a Beverly Hils shop in 1950 for a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. She later described it as "a delightful dress for Southern California." She continued to wear the dress after their trip for casual events and luncheons. Exhibited in Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America from 1974 to 1979.

Credit: Gift of Joan Saffo