Afternoon dress


Not on view

The popularity of black in the second half of the nineteenth century was stimulated by the introduction of chemical dyes of that color in the 1860s. While tasteful and timeless, black remained associated with death and the garb of the widow—a woman often imagined as dangerously independent and alluring. Appropriate for third-stage mourning, this black silk faille dress blurs the distinction between mourning and fashion, and its original use remains unknown. Cut with princess seams, the dress forms the tight, smooth fit over the hips that epitomized late 1870s fashions.

Afternoon dress, silk, 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.