Curator’s Pick

Confirmation Dress – Creative reuse of garments

Creative reuse of garments has a very long history. This example from our collection began life as a confirmation dress work in April of 1932. Made of white silk chiffon and worn over a full white silk slip, it is bias cut and trimmed with ruffles of the same material. The long sleeves are gathered into buttoned cuffs.

Not long after the event for which it was made, the entire ensemble was dyed pale pink and the sleeves were removed. both of these alterations made the dress much more suitable for other events.

The idea of having a garment for a single occasion only is a fairly recent phenomenon. For most people, even wedding dresses, seen today as the quintessential “single-use” garments, were altered and worn after their initial debut.