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*312913.001

Date: 1955

Maker: Margot, Inc.

Designer: Anne Fogarty


Off-white silk shirtwaist dress with long sleeves; DRESS-bodice has center front placket, topstitched, with six worked buttonholes and mother-of-pearl buttons; foldover collar; gathered into waist at either side of center front; center back yoke, which extends over shoulders into front; bodice cut in one piece with inverted pleat from yoke to waist at center back; back bodice gathered at either side of center back; long set-in sleeves gathered into cuff; turnback cuff with two worked buttonholes and round pearl cuff link inserted; very full gathered skirt; deep foldover hem; unlined; BELTS-two identical belts, very stiff; corded; three worked eyelets at one end; self-covered buckle with print at other end; belt keeper near buckle.


This dress was worn by the donor at her marriage to R. Post Eddy in 1955. She also gave us the accessories that she wore for her daytime wedding. During the 1950s wedding dresses in "cocktail" length-to correspond in formality and length with dresses worn to cocktail parties-became a staple of the wedding industry. Although not as formal as a full-length wedding dress, it was more formal than a suit or daytime dress. In this particular version, the dress is a shirtwaist style, with a fitted bodice and very full skirt, which created the illusion of a very small waist. Anne Fogarty is often identified with this silhouette. Exhibited in Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America from 1974 to 1979.

Credit: Gift of Jeanne S. Eddy