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*310259.010

Date: 1964

Maker: B. H. Wragge


Bright yellow wool (may be blended with synthetic fibers) in open weave; OVERBLOUSE-short; straight; curved yoke at front with draped cowl neck; yoke extends at neck into back to form stand collar, which is closed at center back with metal hooks and eyes; center front seam; side seams; full length center back opening with zipper; small tuck at either side of center back at neck to control fullness; sleeves (both front and back) cut in one with overblouse back; elbow length sleeves slightly flared at bottom; entirely lined with yellow silk; silk-covered weight attached to neck inside to control cowl; deep foldover hem at lower edge; SKIRT-straight; side seams; center back seam; two darts on either side of center back at waist; waistband with tab on one side, that closes with hooks-and-eyes; deep foldover hem.


The Fashion Group, Inc. formed in New York in 1931. Originally Marcia Connor, a staff member at Vogue, wanted to enhance the opportunities for women in the fashion and related industries through an association dedicated to networking of leaders and peers. Over the years the organization grew to include chapters around the world-men and women in fashion manufacturing and retailing, and in journalism, public relations, and advertising. The Washington chapter formed their own collection of fashion history; in the 1970s they offered to donate any items needed to the Smithsonian. A number of items were selected that represented the U.S. fashion industry in the 20th century; this dress is part of that selection.

B. H. Wragge, known as a sportswear company (casual clothes), was founded by Sidney Wragge in the 1930s. He closed the business in 1971 but the name continued to be licensed for a few years after that date. Exhibited in Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America from 1974 to 1979.

Credit: Gift of The Washington Fashion Group