Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Costume Collection

The Yarmouth County Museum has a large and varied collection of costumes that illutrates Yarmouth's history through fashion. Please be aware that our costume committee frequently changes exhibits in order to highlight different aspects of the museum's extensive collection. Ask us about our teaching collection.


c. 1890s Reproduction Dress

  • The museum has in its collection a portrait of the ship Lillian L. Robbins, which was painted by a Chinese artist in Hong Kong in 1894.
  • The ship was captained by E.E. Robbins, who travelled with his family on a voyage from New York to Hong Kong and back.
  • This gown is a reproduction of a dress that Mrs. Robbins might have had made from fabric she bought while in Hong Kong and brought back to Yarmouth.

Austrian (Tyrolean) Tracht

  • Tracht is the name given to the traditional clothing worn by men and women of German-speaking countries. Traditionally made of loden or water-proof wool in green, brown or gray.
  • Jacket: with oak leaf trim and staghorn buttons.
  • Knickers or Bundhose: with ornate embroidery; note the knife pocket on the right lower hip.
  • Suspenders or Hosentrager: with embroidered mountain goat.
  • Kneesocks: made from wool; known as a split sock with separate foot and leg parts.
  • Alpine Hat: felt with wide satin band.

Korean Hanbok

  • Hanbok literally means "Korean attire," but now denotes traditional clothing worn for special occasions or festivals. For women, it consists of two pieces, the Chogori and the Chima.
  • Chigori (jacket): wide sleeves and wide sashes that close at the front in a bow.
  • Chima (skirt): rectangular or tubular with a high, pleated waistband, it is tied above the breasts with long sashes; by flowing over the rest of the body, it completely hides the female shape, in accordance with Confucian standards of dress.
  • Shoes: rubber, covered in Korean symbols.
  • Donated by Mary Anne Mehaffey of Yarmouth.

Boy's Beige and Pink Checked Linen Dress

  • In the past, it was common practice for boys to wear dresses until the ages of five or six.
  • Shawl collar with lace trim.
  • Full sleeves gathered to deep flat-stitched cuffs.
  • Three flat-stitched pleats at the back from neckline to waist add detail and fullness to the bodice.
  • Skirt: pleated; belt loops and a two-button front closure secure the fabric belt.
  • May have had a V-shaped insert at one point.
  • Worn by James Allison Foulis (1898-1901), and was donated by a family member.

For further information about other boys' dresses and outfits at the museum, consult Susan Winship's column, "Bonnets, Bows and Furbelows," in the February 2009 Historigram.