Texas First Ladies Historic Costume Collection

About the Collection

Lubbock's white satin dress with scattered red flowers on the skirt and a red velvet belt.
Photo is courtesy of Melanie Sanford, Textile Preservation Services of Texas.

The Collection is much more than a chronology of fashion. Progressing from the 1800s through industrialization of the 1900s, the First Ladies of Texas have become icons of grace and compassion. Each woman leaves her own legacy, but all share common threads that seamlessly stitch together Texas’ First Ladies’ assorted patchwork of experience.

We hope that visitors will also see the Collection as a springboard into the living history of Texas Women. Texas Woman’s University welcomes you to enjoy this fascinating collection of gowns and encourages you to see beyond the heirloom garments and into the chambers of Texas’ past.

This Collection currently displays 21 of the 47 gowns, of which 46 are owned by the University and one is on loan. The display changes at various times throughout the year so that a visitor can enjoy different gowns in the Collection with each walk through the hall. Across from each gown is information about the respective First Lady and the gown displayed.

Each dress has been loaned or donated by various sources to the University. Restoration, storage and upkeep of the collection is made by generous donations from the community including the Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Denton Benefit League.


Texas Bucket List’s Feature on the Gown Collection

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott’s Inaugural Gown on Display at TWU

The scarlet red gown worn by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott during her husband Gov. Greg Abbott’s Inauguration is the latest addition to the Texas First Ladies Historic Costume Collection at Texas Woman’s University. Read the full story...

DTV Newsbreak featured the addition of First Lady Abbott’s gown to the collection at TWU

Page last updated 2:17 PM, February 28, 2017