Possibly The Worst 1850s Dress Ever

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1859. The Museum at FIT.

It looks like a furry animal (goat, sheep, elk???) got entangled with a fringe machine. All those shades of brown are awful together! And it must be very heavy. I wouldn’t be caught near this. Need I say more? What do you think?

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
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25 Responses to Possibly The Worst 1850s Dress Ever

  1. Doris McEwen says:

    I like textures so I find his dress very interesting. Exquisite detailing.

  2. Helen Fratena says:

    Children, let’s all say “Eewwww.” Just like today, not all our ancestors’ had good fashion sense.

  3. Tracy says:

    Looks like a bunch of bathroom rugs were used for trim

  4. Hehe..:p -It looks strange; I think of Scarlet in “Gone with the wind” when she had made a dress out of curtains, as the materials was hard to get in times of war…

    • Hm, yes, I suppose that if you were really hard pressed for materials maybe you would use anything you have. But perhaps then the dress wouldn’t need all the embellishment?

  5. Steph says:

    It looks like Scarlet O’Hara turned a yurt into a dress.

  6. Robin in KS says:

    My gramma had a couch that looked almost exactly like this. I didn’t like it, either.

  7. Jill in AK says:

    It looks like she was attacked by ugly 70s curtains and a bathroom rug. I saw a woman at the grocery store last week who was wearing what looked like a high pile fuzzy rag rug. Bad taste is timeless ;-b

  8. I guess it’d be warm, that’s one point in it’s favour

  9. Sabine says:

    Yes, I agree what an ‘ugly’ garment, yet it would be fun to re-create it 😉

  10. avantgarbe says:

    I was about to say it looks like my bathroom rugs attacked it, but someone beat me to it. Yikes!

  11. elf says:

    Perhaps the dowels were too heavy. I wonfer if bamboo would be lighter. Looks like you all had fun!

  12. Looks frontierish to me… a bit of Dan’l Boone, a bit of Native American dress, a bit of buffalo… prairie dog, too… & a very, very prairie palette. ~ Mom

  13. Sarah says:

    I think this is the kind of thing Louisa May Alcott wrote about with horror….

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