Fashioning an Education: 150 Years of Vassar Students and What They Wore

To celebrate Vassar College’s 150th anniversary, the Vassar College Costume Collection shared student research about the complex role that education has played to influence fashion. The exhibition ran from from May 19 – June 12, and showcased student clothing from the 1860′s to 1950′s and photographs of student styles from the 1960′s to today. Luckily, Vassar created an online exhibition for those of us unable to attend! Below are a few samples of its offerings, and visit the online exhibition here.

1903 Cream Silk and Lace Dress
This bridesmaid’s dress, worn by Grace Woodworth at the 1903 wedding of her sister Clara Farewell Holt (VC ex-1902) is an example of the lingerie style of hyper-feminized dress. © Vassar College
1904 Navy Blue Wool Gymsuit
This gym suit was worn by Floy Stager (Shirk), originally of the class of 1907. © Vassar College
1935 Rayon Crepe dress
This pink dress was worn by a senior, Sarah Sillcocks (Graham) on Class Day 1935. All of the seniors ordered the same dress from the popular New York City department store Peck & Peck, which had an outpost on 12 Collegeview Ave. © Vassar College


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2 replies on “Fashioning an Education: 150 Years of Vassar Students and What They Wore”
  1. Just what I needed for my research! Thanks for showing this Evangeline. I wish I had known about the exhibition because I would have definitely have schlepped up to Poughkeepsie on Amtrack.

    1. says: Evangeline

      You’re welcome! I came across information about the exhibit, and was glad to see they planned to put it online for those of us who couldn’t make the trip to Vassar.

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