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The little black dress is a mainstay in many wardrobes, and the Sidney Museum is currently featuring an exhibit on it. The Little Black Dress: Fashionable Growth and Societal Change presents an overview of the evolution of the dress throughout the 20th century and examines how this evolution reflects the shifting responsibilities of women in society between 1910 and 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.”

The oldest item in the collection, which includes a variety of garments owned and worn by genuine women throughout the century, is older than 100 years. The Sidney Museum is hosting the Costume Museum of Canada’s travelling exhibition The Little Black Dress through October 3. The museum is accessible seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a contribution. For additional information about this and upcoming exhibitions, visit the museum’s website at sidneymuseum.ca.