Costume Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I attended the costume exhibit at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Here’s a glimpse at the beautiful, historic clothing I saw.

Two of my favorites of the day were from the 1880′s, one of my favorite time periods for fashion.

This is a busk. For women of the 1700′s, a busk was part of their corset. It slipped down the middle-front of their stays and was made of wood, bone, etc.. This one was made of ivory and was intricately carved.

This is a lady’s pocket. In the 1700′s, women’s clothing had no built-in pockets. But they did have slits in the sides to insert one’s hand through and reach the pocket (as seen below), which was tied around the waist.

A beautiful dress from the 1830′s:

I loved this detail-intensive Spencer jacket from the early 1800′s. Ah ha! There’s proof I was there…in the mirror!

Big and little dresses from the early 1800′s:

And here’s the description and pictures of my favorite dress of the day…a wedding gown!

All soooo lovely!


  1. It always amazes me how detailed and carefully constructed things use to be. These pictures are just beautiful.

  2. Me too! I wish we could dress like this still today!

  3. Love the Gorgeous cream coloured dress, did you by chance take a full length photo of that dress, I would love to recreate it. I have been all over the internet trying to find more photos of that dress, with out any luck.
    Thank you Judy

  4. Hi, Judy. There are a couple of cream colored dresses in this posting. I'm assuming you mean the one in the third photo (1880's) since the last dress does have a full length photo. If I took a full length one of that, it's been archived onto a disc somewhere. Sorry. I was able to find a side/back view and a train shot by googling "Strawberry Banke Victorian dress" and clicking on "images". I hope that helps!


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