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Worth tea gown ca. 1910
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Afternoon Tea provided the perfect setting to demonstrate the new freedom advancing in women’s dress for the sophisticated elite.
Since Afternoon Teas were mostly attended by family and close friends, the hostess’ tea gown was often uncorseted for the first time in centuries, introducing the casual form of dress our society has adopted to the present day.
I sense a definite Japanese influence in this piece.
The Met says Elegant at-home wear was an essential part of an upper class wardrobe at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The tea gown, a structured and boned one-piece dress, was the first manifestation of a trend toward more comfortable attire for wearing in the presence of one’s intimates. This ensemble, while elaborate, is significantly less restricting than a tea gown, yet, by the teens, was considered modest enough to be seen in.