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Woman's Day Dress

Artist/maker unknown, American

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


c. 1830

English roller-printed cotton twill

Waist: 22 inches (55.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. William F. Machold, 1956

Social Tags

1830s [x]   cotton [x]   day dress [x]   dress [x]   printed cotton [x]   roller print [x]   twill [x]  

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With the Romantic era in full force, women's clothing of the late 1820s and 1830s once again exaggerated their feminine characteristics to firmly delineate them from men. This dress, printed with a broken twig pattern derived from Indian cashmere shawls, shows the return of the full skirt. Its most noticeable features are the enormous, leg-of-mutton sleeves, which balloon around the elbows and made the wearer's waist look smaller by comparison. Mounted in low armscyes, they also gave the desired wide, sloping line to the shoulders, an effect reinforced by other details, such as this example's wide neckline and horizontal gathering across the bust.