>Home and Day Dress

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(Pattern from the 40s showing a home dress (on left) and a sportswear dress (on right) from my Etsy store)

There was a question recently on the Fedora Lounge, and I dug into my books here to see if I could come up with a solid answer in writing, rather than the knowledge I’d gleamed here and there. Morning dress versus home dress versus day dress- I think now the line is all gone. I remember when I first started studing historic costume it had my brain muddled! All the dresses people had for different occasions- their wardrobes seemed monsterous! I started with the Edwardians, which wasn’t such a good place to start as they seemed to complicate everything and were very set on expressing the appearance of wealth. Nouveau riche, don’t ‘cha know? When we get into the later thirties and earlier fourties the lines start to haze over a bit. In WWII it seemed to somewhat go away, though not in entirety (possibly three changes on a more formal day instead of even more) then in the sixties it seemed to nearly go away all together! That’s my understanding of it, anyways, and I’d love to hear your take on dress for different occasions. Was it worth it? Does it interest you?
Both links below are pdfs.
Here’s a little excert from 1933 from Harmony in Dress on Home Dress.
And here’s one on Morning Dress from How to Dress Well by Margaret Story from 1926.

(Pattern for morning or home frock from Woodland Farms Antiques)

4 Comments on >Home and Day Dress

  1. reilly
    September 9, 2009 at 8:42 pm (7 years ago)

    >It is so interesting to learn the kind of 'rules' they had then, or even in more historical times, but I think nowadays, unless you are at a period-specific event, there is basically anarchy! It seems most people wear their house dress equivalent (pajamas, flip flops, sweatpants, etc.) outside, that even if I put on a real house frock, I look 10 times less casual!But yes, so interesting!! Confusing, though. If I actually lived in the war time 40s, would I actually have a larger wardrobe, or just more separates that I'd mix and match and a handful of dresses that I'd wear repeatedly as I needed to?I'd love a huge Edwardian (or bit further back) wardrobe, but only if I could move to a colder climate. I cannot fathom a summer without air conditioning when you have to wear so many layers!

  2. Dizzy Dame
    September 10, 2009 at 4:57 am (7 years ago)

    >I love house dresses,I was lounging in them all weekend. They need to make a comeback.

  3. Chole
    September 11, 2009 at 1:15 am (7 years ago)

    >The idea of "day dress" etc is funny to me.From what I've seen on the other end of the historic spectrum is that those rigid definitions of fashion really started during the Regency era. It was the first time that the newly established middling class had the wealth to have such specialized clothing. By 1812 there were seemingly endless options advertised in ladies journals; morning dress & mourning dress, walking dress, evening dress, half dress, full dress, and so on!Much like in the modern era, the distinctions aren't so much the cut of the clothing, but the materials & accessories. This allows for someone to have a large wardrobe, or to have a variety of pieces to adjust a more sparse selection of gowns up or down as needed for the occasion.Chole

  4. Chole
    April 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm (5 years ago)

    >The idea of "day dress" etc is funny to me.From what I've seen on the other end of the historic spectrum is that those rigid definitions of fashion really started during the Regency era. It was the first time that the newly established middling class had the wealth to have such specialized clothing. By 1812 there were seemingly endless options advertised in ladies journals; morning dress & mourning dress, walking dress, evening dress, half dress, full dress, and so on!Much like in the modern era, the distinctions aren't so much the cut of the clothing, but the materials & accessories. This allows for someone to have a large wardrobe, or to have a variety of pieces to adjust a more sparse selection of gowns up or down as needed for the occasion.Chole

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