Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Costume Collection - Women's Dresses

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Dress, 2-Piece - click to enlarge

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Dress, 2-Piece

Catalogue number: CS*310259.046

Date: 1930 - 1945

Maker: Unknown


DRESS-cream rayon boucle-like weave skirt and bodice back; blue, white, navy, green, orange, and yellow stripe bodice front; false bolero front attached at side seams; front shoulder yoke extends slightly to back; round neckline; center front bodice seam open for 9-1/2" from neck; two diagonal tucks on each side of center front seam; bolero edges bound with 1-1/2" band; band topstitched with three rows around front and neck edge; short set-in sleeves with three darts at sleeve cap; band on lower edge of sleeve also topstitched; two neck darts at bodice back; bodice back waistline is gathered; skirt has six gores. SASH-bias cut of the striped fabric and meant to be tied around waist in a bow.


We do not know who wore this dress as it was part of the collection given to the Smithsonian by the Washington Fashion Group. It was intended for summer wear. Although unlabelled, the dress appears to be ready-made. At this time, labels were not as common in ready-to-wear clothing as it is today. Exhibited in Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America from 1974 to 1979.

Credit: Gift of The Washington Fashion Group