Length (a): 58 1/2 in. (148.6 cm)
Length (b): 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Not on view
The chief characteristic of eighteenth-century women's dress is the rigid encasement of the upper body by means of a corset that configures the torso. Light, elaborately patterned fabrics are pinned or anchored loosely to this understructure. Both menswear and womenswear have lace at the collar and cuffs. The skirts of the time are supported by cane hoops to create ballooning volumes: the open robe consists of a connected bodice and an overskirt parted in front to reveal a matching petticoat.