Sailor dress

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A young girl's sailor dress of the type called a 'Peter Thomson' in the United States. French, 1911–12.

A sailor dress is a dress, worn by girls or women, that follows the styling of the sailor suit, particularly the bodice and collar treatment.

Similar to a sailor dress, but not the same, is the combination of a middy blouse (a sailor-collared blouse) with a separate skirt.


The most iconic part of a sailor dress is its wide collar that follows the collar design from sailor's jumpers and shirts. The skirt part of a sailor dress can be long or short, and is often pleated.

The most popular colors are white, navy blue, powder blue, grey, and more rarely, black.


In Sweden in 1887, a sailor dress with natural waist and pleated skirt was among the designs promoted by the dress reform movement as appropriate for young girls.

In early 20th-century America, sailor dresses were very popularly known as Peter Thomson dresses after the former naval tailor credited with creating the style. By 1919, the Peter Thomson dress was regarded as a valid option for school uniforms, and was described as synonymous with "good taste for girls of 14-18 years old for many years."

See also

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