National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Dress Dress
Rendered by Virginia Berge (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paperboard
overall: 41.3 x 30.7 cm (16 1/4 x 12 1/16 in.) Original IAD Object: skirt: 38" long; 184" wide; bodice: 34" wide; 8 1/2" long
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Costumes from the Index of American Design
Object 9 of 26

The development of industrialization during the nineteenth century led to an abundance of manufactured goods, including textiles, and contributed to reducing the overall cost of clothing. As a result, great variety in fashions was feasible. A well-to-do woman could have a selection of dresses for different social occasions.

This is an example of a "visiting dress," dated about 1823. The bodice is neoclassical in style. The sleeves, known as the "leg o' mutton" type, gained popularity, reaching a balloon-like fullness in the 1830s.

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