Woman's one piece afternoon or evening dress of dark blue silk chiffon, with embroidery at the neckline and at each sleeve cuff. Worn by Ruth Searles Smead (1899-1991) of Greenfield, Massachusetts, in the mid-1920s, and probably made by a local dressmaker. Harper's Bazar for January 1926 noted the feature of long sleeves for more formal dresses at that time (previously formality dictated sleeveless styles). This example, with sheer long sleeves, bridges both styles. Asymmetrical self fabric drape decorates the proper left bodice front side and the proper right back skirt side. Tiny metallic glass beads are embroidered into a decorative triangle shape at the center front neckline, and embellish the narrow cuff that terminates each sleeve. This dress illustrates the fashion for looser, more tubular dress styles popular for mid-1920s styles. Bust 42", waist (underslip) 42"; waist (dress) 44", hips 48". See also 2012.23.1; .3-.9.
The hallmark of fashionable 1920s dresses included a silhouette that skimmed, rather than fitted, a woman's body. Despite an absence of complex construction of overly-fussy details, changes in fashion occurred regularly. The January 1926 issue of Harper's Bazar noted the novelty of long sleeves for more formal dresses (previous formality dictated sleeveless styles). The sheer, long sleeves of this examplebridge both styles. Asymmetrical decoration and reflective beading likewise enliven the otherwise severe dress, which was worn by Ruth Searles Smead (1899-1991) of Greenfield, Massachusetts.