What material would the dress in the Levine family apartment have been made out of in the 1890s? How did this material differ from the material that would have been used for ready-made clothing purchased by working-class Lower East Siders?
The dress on display in the Levine apartment is a replica of a dress featured on the “Only Woman’s Page” of the
Daily Tribune in June of 1898 (clothing was manufactured in advance of the season). The dress featured was made of organdy, the sheerest cloth manufactured from cotton, over a pink silk lining. Dresses purchased by immigrant working women on the New York Lower East Side were inexpensive versions of elegant, high-fashion design such as this.