Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


image preview



Date Created

c. 1922


Costume; Clothing; Main garments; Dresses


Silk chiffon, rayon satin


c. 1922. Dark olive silk chiffon one-piece dress with a brown rayon satin foundation and sash, calf-length, with elbow-length sleeves, opening at the side, and embroidered with gray silvered beads.

The dress has little shaping and no supportive lining. Its brown satin bodice has three pieces: two front panels and one back panel, sewn together at the sides. The fabric wraps around the torso across the top of the bust just beneath the arms and is supported with 2.54 cm / 1 in. wide satin shoulder straps. A dark olive silk chiffon yoke, 41 cm / 16.125 in. long in front and 21.6 cm / 8.5 in. long in back, is sewn to the top of the satin. The chiffon is sewn together at the shoulder seams and forms the scyes, to which the elbow-length sleeves are smoothly sewn with no gathers. The front chiffon panel is cut with a low square neckline ending 5.7 cm / 2.25 in. above the satin; together they make a center-front bodice opening 31.1 cm / 12.25 in. long that closes with five snaps. The satin skirt is one rectangle with a seam at the left side and is sewn directly to the bodice hem with a slight gather. The waist is slightly dropped.

The dark olive silk chiffon overlay has a bodice and a skirt, each made with a front and a back piece sewn together at the side seams, and gathered to each other at the waist seam. The bodice overlay is sewn to the chiffon yoke beneath it at the right shoulder and at the back of the left shoulder. The left front wraps over the center opening of the foundation layer to close at the 27.9 cm / 11 in. long left side with six snaps, then wraps around the left sleeve to close at the at the left shoulder with another five snaps. The square neckline is filled in with a 7 cm / 2.75 in. deep pleated panel of dark green chiffon, sewn in place to the overlay. A pleated 8.3 cm / 3.25 in. wide sash made with the brown satin is sewn over the waist seam, hooking closed with the skirt at the left side.

The chiffon overlay is embroidered with dark gray silvered beads in large Art Nouveau-style patterns, with accents of gray satin stitch embroidery. The hems of the sleeves are finished with the same beads. Machine-sewn and hand-sewn.


Bust: 94 cm / 37 in.
Waist (dropped): 99.1 cm / 39 in.
Shoulder: 12.7 cm / 5 in.
Sleeve: 40.6 cm /16 in.
Hem (under dress): 142.2 cm / 56 in.
Hem (overlay): 193 cm / 76 in.
Length (overall): 103.5 cm / 40.75 in.


Gift of Esther Cole Cutting, UNH 1948

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. 1922, One-piece dresses, Art Nouveau, Calf-length, Elbow-length sleeves, Dropped waist, Square neckline, Silk chiffon, Dark olive (color), Satin, Rayon satin, Brown (color), Sash, Embroidery, Satin stitch, Silvered beads, Gray (color), Chiffon, Yoke, Snaps, Machine-sewn, Hand-sewn, Cole Cutting (donor)