This jacket from the Leeds Museums and Galleries Collection has had an interesting life. It has clearly had numerous lives and a variety of aesthetic identities as a garment. However these lives are not only physical, but have been created through the work of dress historians.
Norah Waugh’s The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930 (London, 1968) included a pattern and line drawing of this jacket which clearly showed the loops at the front criss-crossed over the buttons. However, in reality these loops to not meet neatly and cannot have provided a secure fastening. This is therefore an interesting example of the dress historian’s desire to ‘correct’ a garment to what they expect to find. Instead, we should be asking why the fasteners don’t work, when they may have been added, and how the garment was really worn.
Have you come across any examples of a garment which has been ‘corrected’ by dress historians or curators? And how do you think this particular garment should be read?