Miss Dorsey's Duster

October 5th 2018

One of the strengths of the Fashion Archives at the Maryland Historical Society is that you can find almost anything there. There are hats and fans, tailcoats and wedding dresses of every era, ball gowns and uniforms. Whatever kind of clothing you might want to study can be found in…


Put Your Functional Fashion Foot Forward

September 28th 2018

The emergence of female designers in ready-to-wear, off-the-rack fashion helped set the tone for the latter half of the 20th century: functionality informed the form. As girdles and garters were shed, they were replaced with breathable and movable fabrics, designed for a true human to wear, not the ideological feminine…


Am I Blue?

September 14th 2018

A Civil War Era Dress Is Readied For Display. This lovely sapphire silk striped dress was selected to go on display in our "Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War" exhibition.


Jeanne Lanvin’s Robe de Style: An alternative to “All that Jazz” fashions of the 1920’s

September 10th 2018

The zeitgeist of 1920’s fashions for most is the short, black, sparkly, beaded flapper dress. Thanks to popular culture powerhouses like Chicago and The Great Gatsby among others, this image of women’s fashion during this time has been cemented into the minds of the masses.


Devil in the Details: Woodbourne Ave

September 7th 2018

When looking at a photo with a wide view and distant subjects, it's easy to dismiss the image as boring and pass it by without a second glance. But you should always take a closer look because sometimes you'll find a real gem.


The Ongoing Evolution of the Pocket

September 3rd 2018

One of the most universally debated topics in fashion is the Woman’s Pocket, or current lack thereof. Over the last three centuries, we have seen women’s pockets evolve dramatically and rapidly. While recently deinstalling a mid 19th century piece from the current exhibit "Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War"…


What to Wear to the City-Poly Game: Football That Goes Way Back

August 27th 2018

 by Norah Worthington, Fashion Archives Intern, Summer 2018. One of the most time honored traditions in Baltimore is the annual Baltimore City College versus Baltimore Polytechnic Institute football game. Sometimes played on Thanksgiving Day, and often played in Memorial, or later M & T Bank Stadium, the game is one…


But Is It Art?: This could be your next album cover

August 24th 2018

We don’t know how the Red House Painters or Dinosaur Jr. resisted the urge to use this beauty of a Bodine for an album cover. We suppose there’s still time, but while they snooze away get in touch if you think this should be your next album cover.


Finding First Lady Frances at the MdHS Fashion Archives

August 12th 2018

Prior to coming to the Maryland Historical Society’s Fashion Archives I had ever only heard of one Baltimore Dressmaker. That dressmaker was Lottie Barton and I only knew of her because of my time studying the clothes of the nation’s First Ladies at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.…



August 3rd 2018

The Little Black Dress (LBD)- a classic staple found in most women's closets. But where did it come from, and how did it survive? While processing numerous garments at the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) Fashion Archives, I've been surprised by the amount of black I have seen spanning decades, even…


Call for entries: Maryland on Film V

August 3rd 2018

Call for short films:


Inside Mr. Darcy's Drawers

July 30th 2018

Jane Austen fans are a devoted group of historical dress artisans. The women's clothing certainly gets a lot of attention, but the men of that period can be just as elegant and interesting.  In fact, some of our modern assumptions about a classic men's look come from the early 1800's…


Career Day: Working Women of the 1940s

July 27th 2018

In honor of the recent loss of Mary Ellis, one of the last remaining female pilots of World War II, we wanted to feature some photos exhibiting other ways women kept the world moving forward in wartime.


Art Nouveau Fashion: Giving Dress a Place Among Decorative Arts

July 23rd 2018

What do you think of when you hear “Art Nouveau”? Sinuous lines of French furniture and interiors? Stunning jewelry made of glass and gemstones worn by elite actresses like Sarah Bernhardt? Poster art? World’s Fairs and the Moulin Rouge? Tiffany glass?


Made and Remade for a Quaker Wedding

July 9th 2018

A tan silk Quaker wedding gown posed some puzzles for a summer day. Although we think of wedding dresses as white or ivory, at some periods in time, a bride simply wore her best dress. The soft brown color of this silk gown was common among Quakers, but exactly what…