Designer Mrs. Helen Cookman American
Textile manufactured by Reeves Brothers Inc.

Not on view

American designer Helen Cookman is remembered for integrating traditional masculine styles into womenswear. A testimony to this fact, she has been credited for the revival of the Chesterfield coat for women. After designing the American Red Cross Nurse's Aides uniforms during World War II, Cookman began industrial uniform design, working with fabrics produced by Reeves Brothers, Inc. Founded in 1920, Reeves specialized in engineered fabrics to be used for the aerospace, automotive, military and industrial markets. In 1948, the company partnered with Cookman to design eleven different worker's uniforms.

This work dress is functional for the kitchen as well as the dining room of a restaurant. The utilitarian apron has large pockets at front and provides full coverage of the dress underneath, keeping it clean during cooking. When the apron is removed, the cheerful yellow dress is appropriate attire for waitressing. Cookman designed a practical uniform and added a sense of style through her color choice, noticeable topstitching and shiny silver buttons.

Uniform, Mrs. Helen Cookman (American, 1894–1973), cotton, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.