Little Black Dress illustration

The Little Black Dress

Sidney Museum exhibit documents evolution of dress alongside evolution of society

  • Aug. 22, 2022 7:30 a.m.

The Sidney Museum is excited to announce its upcoming feature exhibition, entitled The Little Black Dress: Fashionable Evolution and Societal Change.

This exhibit offers not only a fascinating glimpse at how the little black dress as a garment has evolved throughout the 20th century, but it also provides a look at how this evolution has been reflected in the changing roles of women in society from 1910-1980.

How were silhouettes and fabric choices impacted by the women’s suffrage movement? What did the Second World War mean for hemlines? How was the women’s liberation movement and the social change of the 1970s reflected in the clothing women of the day were wearing? This exhibit discusses these questions and more through a series of historical garments.

This show will feature a variety of dresses owned and worn by actual women throughout the 20th century, the oldest of which is over 100 years old. While the visual beauty and stunning craftsmanship of these garments is sure to impress viewers, the absorbing social history that is told through these fashion pieces is what promises to be the highlight of this exhibition.

Whether you are interested in the garments themselves or the history behind them, this exhibit promises something for everyone.

The Little Black Dress is a traveling exhibition from the Costume Museum of Canada, and the Sidney Museum gratefully acknowledges its support.

The Sidney Museum is currently open, by donation, seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Please see for more details on the current and upcoming exhibitions.