My 1900s gingham wash dress can also be worn as summer dress. ‘If we go on the river or to tennis in the sunshine, the woman is not well dressed who wears a ten-guinea tailor-made cloth, however light, but she who is clad in a cotton which has probably cost a few odd shillings’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
Cotton dresses were also worn for seaside and boating with straw boater hats: 1898 drawing of a lady wearing a yachting dress and boater hat.
I trimmed my boater hat with the same fabric as the dress.
Pretty blue 1902 cotton seaside dress
The description of a 1906 sailor costume for outing wear, which can be made in gingham, says: ‘The blouse is made to slip on over the head and left to pouch slightly all around over the belt’. It also features a gored skirt in round length.
Despite the corset and underwear, the cotton dress is quite comfortable to wear.
Here you’ll find my pinterest boards 1900s Washdress and Maid’s Dress and 1900s sportswear with inspirations for my wash dress.
2 thoughts on “1900s Gingham Wash Dress – As A Summer Dress”
Hi–can you provide a definition for “wash dress”? I’ve seen it in old ads. Thanks.
Hi, a wash dress is a dress that’s washable. It was usually worn as morning dress while doing housework and for summer outings were a dress might get soiled.
It’s either made of cotton, linen or silk (if silk was washable, it was usually called “tub silk” or “washing silk” in the Edwardian era). Wool dresses were just brushed, and silk and delicate cotton lace dresses didn’t withstand the rough handling in the washing tub.
A wash dress could be a very plain cotton dress, like mine, or it could be trimmed with lace, such as broderie anglaise lace, bands of fabric or ribbons. A tailored linen dress was also called a wash dress. Such a dress was worn at the beach or river, as walking dress and for sports, such as tennis. Sometimes even a delicate lace dress was called a wash dress: When a wash dress isn’t really washable.
A cotton or linen wash dress together with a tailored wool dress or shirtwaist costume were everyday clothes of Edwardian women. Here you’ll find more information when wash dresses were worn: How to dress in the Edwardian era.
A wash dress was also called tub frock in the Edwardian era.