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Woman's Shirtwaist Dress

Designed by Rudolf

Made in New York, New York, United States, North and Central America

c. 1955

Checked silk taffeta

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Ruth and Sydney M. Cohn, 1999

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Variations of the shirtwaist, or shirt-dress, were extremely popular in the 1950s because the style was versatile, as well as ladylike and practical. This silk example, labeled "Original by Rudolf," is by one of the many American designers who interpreted fashion for American women. Below a demure Peter Pan collar, the bodice is fitted by darts and underarm gussets. An attached belt defines the slightly dropped waist, reflecting the long, lean torso that was fashionable in mid-decade. The full skirt is pleated to take advantage of the fabric's large checks, and bias panels at the sides are accented with large buttons. A tacked-in petticoat of nylon ruffles edged with nylon horsehair ensures the proper skirt silhouette.