1960 Shirtwaist Dress

Date: ca. 1960 - Material: Dupioni Silk - Accession: 2001.191.1.t28

The shirtwaist dress embodied domesticity in the 1950s and early 1960s. Magazines, such as Good Housekeeping, relayed to post-war American women how to be the perfect wife and mother by giving advice for a practical lifestyle. Magazines, along with emerging television programs, informed women of the proper dress styles to perform these roles effectively. Shirtwaist dresses gained iconic status after Christian Dior included the form as a part of his “New Look.”

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