Department Store James McCreary and Co., N.Y. American

Not on view

This half-mourning dress of vivid purple accented with boldly arranged black and white trimming, exhibits the full gigot sleeve that defined mid-1890s fashions. The ensemble was purchased from James McCreery & Co., a New York department store that maintained a mourning-goods section that offered textiles as well as made-to-order and ready-made garments. The availability of an expanding range of ready-made goods for women was facilitated by the invention of the sewing machine, increasing standardization of dress patterns, and the rise of department stores that capitalized on these innovations. Fashion magazines often cited well-known retailers of mourning goods, including McCreery, as sources of information on current mourning styles and standards of etiquette.

Suit, James McCreary and Co., N.Y. (American), wool, silk, metallic thread, American

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