White cotton dress with gigot sleeves, Portland, ca. 1825

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Description

By the mid-1820s, significant fashion features included lowered waists, widened skirts, and enlarged sleeves. This dress includes an earlier example of the enlarged sleeve style, known as a Gigot or "leg of mutton" sleeve. Into the 1830s, the style's sleeves gradually increased in size.

The dress was hand sewn, with its scalloped edges attached as a separate piece. A light pink drawstring ribbon serves as the enclosure. The cotton sleeves and bodice are embellished with white work eyelet embroidery. White work (white embroidery on white fabric) is reminiscent of christening gowns or ceremonial items.

The dress is associated with the Longfellow family of Portland.


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