A sailor dress is a child's or woman's dress that follows the styling of the sailor suit, particularly the bodice and collar treatment. A sailor-collared blouse is called a middy blouse ("middy" derives from "midshipman"). In early 20th century America, sailor dresses were very popularly known as Peter Thomson dresses after the former naval tailor credited with creating the style.
Peter Thomson dress [ edit ]
Peter Thomson (sometimes spelled Thompson) had tailoring establishments in New York and Philadelphia in around 1900. His original sailor dresses and suits, for both women and children (including young boys) are represented in several American museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The 'Peter Thomson dress' was made from cotton or linen for summer wear, or wool in winter. It was promoted as an ideal costume or uniform for female students and schoolchildren, and was popular with those trying to establish a "standardized style" of clothing. By 1919, the Peter Thomson dress was regarded as a valid option for school uniforms, and was described as synonymous with "good taste for girls of 14-18 years old for many years." Peter Thomson styling was also applied to the bodices of early bathing costumes.
Dresses with sailor styling were known before the Peter Thomson design took hold. In Sweden in 1887, a 'sailor dress' with natural waist and pleated skirt was among the designs promoted by the dress reform movement as appropriate for young girls.
Late 20th century and early 21st century [ edit ]
Although sailor styling is sometimes seen on women's dresses, since the mid-20th century it is mainly associated with dresses for babies and small children. During the late 20th century sailor styling became associated with maternity dresses, which has led to some negativity towards sailor styles for womenswear and the general idea of a woman dressing 'like a child'. The maternity clothing designer Liz Lange declared "She shouldn't have to dress like a child just because she's having a child; it's one thing to put a toddler in a sailor suit but it's another thing completely to condemn a grown woman to such a fate."
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
- Lewandowski, Elizabeth J. (2011). The complete costume dictionary. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 9780810840041.
Brooks Picken, Mary (1923). Textiles and sewing materials: Textiles, laces, embroideries and findings, shopping hints, mending, household sewing, trade and sewing terms. International textbook company. p. 250.
A kind of dress worn by young girls, the waist of which is made in exact imitation of a sailor's blouse. This style of dress derives its name from its creator, Peter Thomson, who was a tailor in the navy...
- The Flapper 00:29:13
- "Suit: Peter Thomson (American) Date: 1902". The Collection Online. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Sailor Suit: Peter Thomson (American) Date: ca. 1900". The Collection Online. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Boy's Sailor Suit: Shirt and Knickers". Search the Collections: Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Mrs. Mathews (January 1916). "Neglected Fraternity Opportunities". The Anchora of Delta Gamma. Delta Gamma Fraternity. p. 168. (originally printed in The Alpha Phi Quarterly
- Przybyszewski, Linda (2014). "Much for Little". The Lost Art of Dress The Women Who Once Made America Stylish. New York: Basic Books. p. 1944. ISBN 9780465080472.
- Dwyer-McNulty, Sally (2014). "School Uniforms: A New Look for Catholic Girls". Common threads : a cultural history of clothing in American Catholicism (1 [edition]. ed.). UNC Press Books. pp. 102–104. ISBN 9781469614090.
- Gold, Annalee (1991). 90 years of fashion. New York: Fairchild Fashion Group. p. 61. ISBN 9780870056802.
- Cunningham, Patricia A. (2003). Reforming women's fashion, 1850-1920 : politics, health, and art. Kent: Kent State University Press. ISBN 9780873387422.
- Lee, Jaeil; Steen, Camille (2014). Technical sourcebook for designers (Second ed.). New York: Bloomsbury Pub. p. 107. ISBN 9781609018566.
- Iovine, Vicky (2007). The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy. Simon and Schuster. pp. 129, 131, 135. ISBN 9781416551874.
- Lange, Liz (2003). Liz Lange's maternity style : how to look fabulous during the most fashion-challenged time (1. ed.). New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 8. ISBN 9780609809174.