Object of the Day

Three-piece second-day dress, brick-red wool, 1882

Mary Matilda Hancock and Frederick Wm. Watkin were married in New York City in 1882. This three-piece, brick-red, wool dress – a shaped-fitted, basque bodice with pointed peplum, a long gored skirt with overlapping ruffles, and a pouffed overskirt – would have made a wonderful impression when Mr. and Mrs. Watkin embarked on their honeymoon.

This three-piece dress was part of Mary’s trousseau. The word trousseau came from the French word ‘trousse’ which means ‘bundle.’ The Trousseau originated as a bundle of clothing and personal possessions the bride brought with her to her new home. In America, a girl might begin preparing her trousseau from an early age, saving treasured items (including clothing and household linens made by herself or given to her) in a Hope Chest to be stored for her married life. Among a bride’s trousseau would be the dresses and lingerie she would wear right after the wedding and on her honeymoon.

A Second-day dress was a semi-formal dress the new bride would wear when the newlyweds were visiting relatives and friends, or receiving guests in their new home. The second-day dress or suit was usually more modest in style and ornamentation than the wedding gown. It would be worn on special occasions and Sunday church services for years to come. A bride might also wear a going-away suit when she and her husband left for their honeymoon, serving the same function as the Second-day dress.

Original metal buttons have a moon and stars motif.


Exhibit News

An Interview with Mrs. Rueby Maeker

Today is the First Friday Art Trail, and we will be replacing all of the wedding gowns displayed in Gallery 1.

We are delighted to share this video interview with Mrs. Rueby Maeker of Lubbock, TX.  Married to Arnold Maeker in 1948, Mrs. Maeker wore this “heavenly” blue, cotton velveteen wedding gown (shown below) at her church wedding.

Fashion Show Highlights

The Texas Tech Fashion Show, held in conjunction with the textile exhibit, “They Weren’t Always White” was a huge success!

A big thank you to the Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program and the Hi-Tech Fashion Group for their participation and for creating these amazing pieces. Congratulations to the Education Department of the Museum of TTU for developing and planning the sold out event. Funding for the event was provided by the Helen Jones Foundation.The show was held in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at the Museum of Texas Tech University followed by a reception where guests enjoyed wedding cake and punch.

For more information, you can visit the Daily Toreador which can be found here

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Photos courtesy of Bill Mueller


Exhibit News

Today is the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for the First Friday Art Trail. Today we will be replacing the center dress with this 1890 wedding gown.

Hattie Napice wore this two-piece ice-blue silk faille dress with ostrich feather and bead trim when she wed Thomas Shive in December 1890 at Vernon, Texas.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite wedding dress here or at the museum for the dress that well be featured in the center May 2012.