c. 1900 Blue Dress like a Beta Fish (with additional fashion plates)


by Charlotte Engel



This two piece blue ensemble dates back to c. 1904 and was donated to our museum in 1969. The donor remains unknown.

The dress is made of blue silk with a swirling pattern of dots, and trimmed with lace at the hem, wrists and shoulders. The shoulders and wrists are decorated with black ribbon, and the front of the bodice showcases an alternating pattern of striped silk ribbon and chiffon. The mono-bosom of this dress is a perfect example of fashionable silhouettes from the time period.

Modest dresses, bodies molded by corsets, and ostentatious ornamentation dominated women’s fashion throughout the first ten years of the century. Sleeves maintained slimness up until 1904, when they started to balloon outwards. Skirts featured heavily embellished ruffled hems and short trains that flared out like a trumpet.

*Additional images from the time period included to showcase fashion plates and similar styles, but dont belong to the museum.

original video was created July 7, 2022