teagown c. 1916
 
 

detail

 

This lightweight teagown is made of cotton batiste and generously trimmed with handmade bobbin lace on the collar, cuffs, and the front of the skirt. The gown is fitted at the waist, has slightly puffed sleeves, and fastens in the back with hooks and eyes.

This style of dress was common during the early part of the century and was worn by women of the leisure class in the afternoon, with friends at tea, or during garden parties. The relatively slim cut of the skirt indicates it was probably worn around 1914, when the silhouette narrowed from the wider gored skirts of the earlier decade.

Tea gowns were first worn in the 1870s to relieve women of their tightly laced corsets. The early tea gowns were loose at the waist, worn among women friends, and were viewed as part of the Dress Reform movement that objected to the unhealthy and cumbersome practice of wearing corsets and heavy petticoats.

 
 

This webpage was made possible with the support of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, and the CSUS Media Center.

The website and costume research were created by Dr. Mary Botkin and the students of FACS 199;Courtney Haueter, Chelsea Perri, Joy Sun, and Rachel Young.

The costumes belong to the Costume Collection of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Costume photographs by Sam Parsons of the CSUS Media Center.