Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Date Created

c. 1925


Costume; Clothing; Main garments; Dresses


Silk charmeuse, silk chiffon, seed beads, coral, rhinestones


c. 1925. Sleeveless two-piece knee-length sheath dress made with an under-layer of cream silk charmeuse and an overlay of apricot chiffon beaded with pink faceted seed beads and edged with coral and rhinestone beads, and a separate sleeveless over-blouse of chiffon and beads.

The dress bodice has no shaping and is cut from two pieces of cream silk charmeuse sewn together with 21.6 cm / 8.5 in. long seams at sides. It has narrow shoulder straps made from the same fabric. The underskirt is also made from two panels of cream silk charmeuse, sewn together at the sides with 54 cm / 21.25 in. long seams. At the hem the skirt has three horizontal inserts, two of silk chiffon flanking one of charmeuse, all cut into seven scallops. Over this, a rectangle of pale apricot chiffon, 116.8 cm / 46 in. wide and 63.5 cm / 25 in. long, is sewn together at the left side back and is lightly gathered to the waist seam over the charmeuse. The chiffon is slit partway up its length into four sections, each 29.2 cm / 11.5 in. wide, and with the center-front and center-back sections shortened to 55.9 cm / 22 in. and leaving the sides long. The hem and slits are edged with strands of coral beads and rhinestones over double rows of pink faceted seed beads, and the surface of the chiffon is embellished with pink faceted seed beads sewn into flowers, leaves, vines, and irregular shapes. The waist seam joining the bodice to the skirt is 94 cm / 37 in. around and is dropped below the natural waist level, and is covered with a pleated sash sewn together at the right hip. The dress is made to pull on over the head with no openings for dressing.

A sleeveless blouse made of the same chiffon, decorated with the same pink seed beads, is worn over the dress bodice. Like the dress, the blouse has no shaping, hanging straight from the shoulders, and is made to pull on over the head. It is made from two pieces of sheer pale apricot chiffon, sewn together at the sides with 29.2 cm / 11.5 in long seams, and is long enough to cover the waist sash. It has a scooped neckline and mirrors the skirt design with four 7.6 cm / 3 in. slits cut into the hem, creating one section at each side and one at center front and center back. Like the skirt, coral beads and rhinestones over seed beads edge the bodice hem and slits. Machine-sewn and hand-sewn.


Bust: 78.7 cm / 31 in.
Waist (dropped): 94 cm / 37 in.
Shoulder (blouse): 3.5 cm / 1.375 in.
Hem (both skirts and blouse): 97.8 cm / 38.5 in.
Length (overlay neckline to longest hem): 99.1 cm / 39 in.

Museum Number



University of New Hampshire Library


Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator

Date Digitized


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


The Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection digital catalog was produced by the UNH Library Digital Collection Initiative, supported in part by a grant from the Mooseplate program and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the E. Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.
Photography copyright, Astrida Schaeffer.


Dresses, c. 1925, Two-piece dresses, Sheath dresses, Knee-length, Scooped neckline, Silk charmeuse, Cream (color), Chiffon, Silk chiffon, Apricot (color), Seed beads, Pink (color), Faceted beads, Coral beads, Rhinestone beads, Flowers, Leaves, Vines, Dropped waist, Pleats, Sash, Machine-sewn, Hand-sewn