The little black dress is a staple of the modern woman’s closet, but, for years, black attire signalled that the wearer was in mourning. A century’s worth of bereavement clothing is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute.
Above: An 1848 mourning dress. Its white stripes would have indicated that the widow wearing it was past the darkest stage of her grief. Photograph by Pari Dukovic.