Vintage Wedding Trousseaus

A bride's trousseau generally means the items, particularly the textiles, that a new bride brings into her marriage. Used broadly, the word "trousseau" could mean a bride's dowry, but usually these words are separated, so that dowry means items other than the bride's wardrobe.

Teenagers in decades past often gathered items of this sort in a hope chest - the "hope" being that the young woman would find a husband. Many period movies focus on this ultimate goal of "hooking a catch", and the clothes worn to entice and engage were of high priority.

Vintage trousseaus could include the bridal gown itself and the clothes worn leaving for the honeymoon. But of all the various items in a hope chest, the most intimate are wedding night lingerie.

Here are a few examples of these very special items, from the archives at


According to the note found with this nightie, Aunt Allie wore it on her wedding night - October 12, 1928.


An exquisite find in vintage lingerie - a peignoir by Schiaparelli from the mid-1950s.


Likely worn by a newlywed, this vintage nightgown was dated 1942 but has a lean, glamorous look more often attributed to the 1930s.

Undated trousseau items, including a bride's tambour lace veil, separate headpiece and elbow-length gloves from the early-mid 1920s.