• Suit of Coat, Vest, and Trousers, about 1920-1940

    According to our records, the suit belonged to Henry Ford.Born in 1863 on a farm in what is now Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford parlayed a youthful aptitude for engineering into a career as an automotive innovator and founder/president of Ford Motor Company. Among his ideas were the introduction of the first moving automobile assembly line, affordable pricing, fair wages for employees, and the vertical integration of manufacturing processes from raw materials to the finished product. His many phi…

  • Girl's Dress, 1880-1885

    Straight, low-waisted, heavily knife-pleated girl's silhouette dresses were very common in the early 1880's; men's suit fashions were also often reflected in women's clothing of the period.

  • Boy's Vest and Pants

  • Maternity Suit, about 1955

    This suit was handmade by the donor's mother, Barbara Jean Thomas LaBarge, and worn during at least one of her two pregnancies from late 1952 to mid 1956.

  • Maternity Suit, about 1955

    This suit was worn by the donor's mother, Barbara Jean Thomas LaBarge, during at least one of her two pregnancies from late 1952 to mid 1956.

  • Maternity Suit, about 1955

  • Mens Suit, about 1880

    This morning suit belonged to Willis C. Ward. He likely used it for a wedding or other special occasion. It is exquisitely made and looks to have been rarely used.Willis C. Ward was born in 1861 to one of Michigan's wealthest families of the 19th century. His father David Ward, made his fortune in lumber and acquired and sold timbered land throughout the United States.

  • Boy's Suit, about 1820

    The military-looking Eton-style suit was common for young boys in the 19th Century and was used for school or special occasions. This rare example belonged to the Mitchell family of rural New York State (as did the very similar suit numbered 35.596.57). The jacket front is very typical of those worn around 1820. This is a variation of the skeleton suit in which the trouser buttons attached to a shirt or braces rather than the jacket.

  • Boy's Suit, 1820-1830

    The Eton-style suit was common for young boys in the 19th Century and was used for school or special occasions. This rare and rather expensive example belonged to the Mitchell family of rural New York State (as did the very similar suit numbered 35.596.5).The jacket front is very typical of those worn around 1820. The suit is nicely made but not exquisitely so; it is all hand-sewn and of lovely silk fabric. This is a variation of the skeleton suit in which the buttons on the waistband attach to …

  • Boy's Jacket, 1840-1860

    This is a good example of a mid-19th century boy's suit style, made for the "in between" years of a boy too young for an adult male-style trouser suit, and a radical departure from the kinds of suits worn by boys a century before. It might have been part of a spring suit, to be worn with cotton or linen trousers buttoned onto the jacket. It is also an excellent example of the use of velvet for boy's clothes from that era. The lack of seams in the center back also suggests an 1840-1860 constructi…

  • Dress Suit, about 1800

    The Henry Ford's only late eighteenth/early nineteenth century dress jacket with breeches.No waistcoat to go with the suit.Worn for very formal occasions, perhaps even for presentation at court.Embroidery clearly pieced.First sewn, then cut out, and finally applied to the jacket and breeches.Poor extensive repairs for a modern wearer.Perhaps at one time used for twentieth century theater productions.

  • Boy's Suit and Blouse, 1885-1900

    According to the source of purchase, this conventional young boy's black knicker suit belonged to the Linsley Simpson family of Northford, Connecticut. Such Fauntleroy suits became popular after the publication of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "Little Lord Fauntleroy" in 1886. It is not likely that this blouse originally accompanied it - the knickers have buttonholes in the waistband for attaching a blouse waist, and this blouse has no buttons.

  • Boy's Knicker Suit, about 1860

    The jacket and sleeves of this suit are reminiscent of 1860s zouave suits so popular around the time of the Civil War. It was likely used for summer wear.

  • Boy's Velveteen Norfolk Knicker Suit, 1890-1910

    Brown velveteen Norfolk knicker suit. Collar-less, round-necked, double-breasted jacket faced with cotton and silk satin. Opens on right side; two rows of mother-of-pearl buttons, one functional. Two pleats on front, one pleat on back, with self-fabric belt passing through openings in pleats. Two patch pockets. Set-in sleeves, no cuffs. Straight-legged knickers with one snap at each hip. Inner waist band of white muslin with buttonholes. Two darts in back. Small open fly at inseam has been hand-…

  • Boy's Suit, about 1892

    This suit was worn by William Deuel Hailes of Albany, New York.

  • Boy's Sailor Suit, about 1925

  • Men's Leisure Suit, about 1970-1978

    Trousers and trouser suits were popular fashions in the 1970s.The pant shapes began as gently flared and reached wide bell bottom proportions by about 1975. They then slowly reduced to straight and wide until by the end of the seventies they were finally narrow again. Also called leisure suits, they were typically made in heavy fabrics including include crepes, wool jersey knits and woven Polyester suiting such as in this suit.

  • Wool Flannel Suit with Raglan Sleeves, 1950

    Dark-gray wool flannel suit. Raglan sleeves with turn-back cuff. Three-button diagonal trim at front of each shoulder. Seam at jacket waistline. Padded peplum with flap pockets. Hook and eye closures. Narrow skirt has pleat in front and back. Dark gray silk faille lining. Clothing label: Christian Dior/PARIS/MADE IN FRANCE. Stamped on label: 15393. Handwritten on tag sewn on back of label: 21721. This may be one of the most stunning suits in any collection: it is understated and perfectly tailor…

  • Grey and White Houndstooth Wool Suit, 1955

    Medium gray and white houndstooth check wool suit. Straight narrow skirt with kick pleat in back. Jacket has four gray buttons, tie front, bracelet length sleeves. Gray silk taffeta lining Clothing Label:JACQUES FATH/PARIS.

  • Two Piece Blue Linen Suit, 1953-1954

    Medium-blue linen suit. Very little shaping to jacket; curved seams in front and back. Six-button front closure with 3/4-length sleeves, small cuffs and collar. Jacket is weighted. Sheath skirt has separate blue China silk petticoat. Clothing label: BALENCIAGA/10 AVENUE GEORGE V/PARIS. Handwritten on tag sewn on back of label: 45 121. A designer sample of this suit is worn by a Balenciaga mannequin in a 1956 photo. The Henry Ford also owns a design drawing of this suit.