1900 Dress

Date: ca. 1900 - Material: Chambray - Accession: 2001.191.1.0122

This chambray dress was probably worn by a working class woman in either a rural or urban setting. Her choice of fabric woven with five inches of eyelet on one edge and its careful application on the yoke, indicates it was probably intended to be one of her “better” dresses.

Even so, chambray, an easily washable fabric, remains a lower-status choice for a moderately fancy dress. The dress construction is a mixture of machine and hand sewing, but was not stitched with highly skilled needlework.

The dress lines reflect other fashionable dresses of the period. The small waist indicates that she would have been corseted. The lines are somewhat looser, however, allowing for freer movement.

Donated to the University of Illinois Bevier Historic Costume Collection. Property transfer to the Illinois State Museum, 2001.