Tea Gowns- Some Notes

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Perhaps the extreme hot weather we’re dealing with in Southern California or simply the aesthetics but tea gowns have been an object of interest for us lately. As noted in a prior post, the tea gown was an informal garment that was meant to be worn without a corset (in practice, this was not always the case) although many tea gowns were boned in the bodice area to provide a little structure.

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There was certainly a wide variety of tea gown styles that were available ranging from ones mass-produced  for the middle class market to the haute couture varieties aimed at a more upscale clientele. Below is one example from 1894, complete with gigot sleeves, offered by Maison Worth:

Worth Tea Gown 1894

Worth, Tea Gown, 1894; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.637)

Worth Tea Gown 1894

Rear View

And here’s another offering from Worth, circa 1900 – 1901:

Tea Gown Worth c. 1900 - 1901

Worth, Tea Gown, c. 1900 – 1901; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.2498)

Tea Gown Worth c. 1900 - 1901

Rear View

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And if one could not afford to buy a ready-made tea gown, they could make their own:

The tea gown offered another alternative for women’s wear and it’s interesting to see how the varieties that were out there. Stay tuned for more in the future. 🙂

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And It’s Summer!

Temperatures up to 106 F are predicted today here in Woodland Hills…time to get out the sheer floaty layers of Summer!


Finishing Projects

This gown was started a few years ago, but I finished it during Lockdown Summer…I normally don’t directly copy extant gowns, but this one is directly from page 295 of Costume in Detail. Every pleat, ribbon, ruffle, soon became a stack of anxiety and guilt (because it felt like plagiarizing!) so I layered it over a sunny yellow lining. I felt better “making it mine”, do any of you do this?

History Mirror Monday From No. 11

Greetings from the Violet Ooh-La-La Parlor at #11 on this #historymirrormonday! May your day be filled with ruffles and smiles. 🙂


Just In From New Zealand

We received this most fascinating book on fashion history in New Zealand. The illustrations are amazing and there’s a lot of things that we’ve never seen before. Looks like some interesting reading ahead of us. 🙂

And if you want a copy, you can order it HERE.