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Women's cotton day dress

Date: late 19th Century
Overall: 560 x 290 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Dress
Object No: V00018360

User Terms

    This white plain weave cotton bodice and skirt was a sort of 'uniform' of the ladies of leisure in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Decorated with a white sash and accessorised with veils, hats and parasols, the white day dress was worn by women of all ages enjoying fresh air and mild physical exertion.

    The bodice and skirt are highly decorated with broderie anglaise trim and pin tucking and feature a myriad of clips and strings and straps to attach both pieces together.
    SignificanceThis day dress is representative of women's fashions, worn by the middle classes during leisure activities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    HistoryBy the early 1900s a thriving tourist industry had become well established around the seaside towns of Australia. The beach had become a site of rest and recreation. Many women took up the fashionable pursuit of promenading along the shore.
    Wearing the 'uniform' of a white day dress, decorated with a white sash and accessorised with veils, hats and parasols, usually white, to protect precious complexions from the harsh Australian sun, women enjoyed being ladies of leisure. White, cream, or ivory dresses were seen as a symbol of wealth during the Edwardian era. Wearing white or cream-coloured clothing meant you either had a maid at home or you could afford to pay another to wash your clothes.

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