Skip to content

The Little Black Dress: Evolution of iconic fashion garment explored in Sidney exhibit

Little Black Dress display on loan from Costume Museum of Canada through Oct. 3
The Little Black Dress, a travelling exhibition from the Costume Museum of Canada, is on display at the Sidney Museum until October. (Courtesy Sidney Museum)

The little black dress, it’s a staple in many closets and now it is the subject of an exhibit at the Sidney Museum.

The Little Black Dress: Fashionable Evolution and Societal Change, offers a glimpse into how the garment has change through the 20th century and provides a look at how this evolution reflects the changing roles of women in society from 1910 to 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,” the museum notes in a statement.

“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.”

Featuring a variety of dresses owned and worn by actual women throughout the century, the oldest piece in the collection is more than 100 years old.

The Little Black Dress is a travelling exhibition from the Costume Museum of Canada and runs at the Sidney Museum until Oct. 3.

The museum is open by donation seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Please see the museum’s website,, for more details on this and upcoming exhibitions.

ALSO READ: Michael Goodchild seeks to build on legacy as new executive director of Sidney Museum


Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.