Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Date Created



Costume; Costume by function; Dressing garments; Dressing gowns




1860s. Men’s dressing gown, roller-printed in brown and black abstract floral patterns on white cotton, knee-length.

The dressing gown is made in four pieces: two front panels, and two back panels with a center-back seam, all reaching from shoulders to the hem and narrowing from the shoulders to the waist then flaring again over the hips to the hem. The front panels flare only on the side seam, and their straight center edge creates a smooth fit. The center-back panels flare beneath the waist at both side and center-back seams, creating a slight fullness in the back skirting. The dressing gown is double-breasted, with the front opening having three flat, fabric-covered buttons and buttonholes from mid-chest to waist on each side, allowing a 12.1 cm / 4.75 in. overlap in either direction and showing six buttons when closed. Two buttons directly beneath the gorge or notch between the dressing gown’s 8.9 cm / 3.5 in. wide collar and lapels are joined with a loop of cord. There is a diagonal pocket on the left breast. The sleeves have two slightly curved seams and are lightly gathered at the shoulder. They are full-length and have a 4.1 cm / 1.625 in. cuff.

The garment is fully bag-lined with another roller-printed fabric, an unbleached cotton printed with irregular tan scalloped shapes outlined in black, each containing one white five-lobed flower flanked by two four-lobed flowers. All seam allowances are enclosed between the layers of fabric, as is an evenly distributed layer of thin padding, presumably to provide additional warmth. Hand- sewn.


Chest: 116.8 cm / 46 in.
Waist: 108 cm / 42.5 in.
Hem: 161.3 cm / 63.5 in.
Sleeves: 63.5 cm / 25 in.
Overall length: 198 cm / 42.5 in.


Gift of Abby Brown. Worn by the donor’s father.

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.


Men's dressing gowns, Robes, Bathrobes, Dressing jackets, 1860s, Stratham, New Hampshire, United States, Double-breasted, Knee-length, Roller-printed, Floral patterns, Scalloped shapes, Brown (color), Black (color), Cotton, White (color), Fabric-covered buttons, Cord, Pocket, Hand-sewn, Brown (donor)


item origin