21. 1884 Wedding Dress, McCord Museum

Fashion, Made in Canada…
























Wedding dress
About 1884, 19th century
Gift of Miss Marion Boa
© McCord Museum

“This dress can be precisely dated to 1884, as it was made for and worn at a wedding that year. It shows the hallmark silhouette of the mid-1880s: the shelf-like bustle from which the skirt hangs vertically, and the fitted bodice with low pointed waistline, high collar and closely fitted sleeves. The horizontal knife-pleated trim on the skirt is found in many variations on dresses from this period. Burgundy was a very popular fashion colour for day dresses from the late 1870s through the mid-1880s, as evidenced by contemporary fashion magazines and the many extant garments in this shade in museum collections. A wedding dress in a serviceable and fashionable colour like this one would be used frequently in the following year or longer for a variety of social occasions, such as visiting and church, and could prove far more versatile than a white one. The bride, who lived in Markham, Ontario, chose a local dressmaker who made it up for the price of $4.00.”