By wearing "something borrowed," a bride is believed to bring good luck to the new couple. The idea is to borrow something from a a happily married friend or relative, in hopes that their good fortune rubs off on the newlyweds. It was thought that by wearing an item from a friend who had already birthed children, that the evil eye would be fooled. In the Victorian era, it was common to borrow undergarments, such as petticoats, from a married friend with healthy children. Once again, this was meant to increase a bride's chance of conceiving healthy children. Nowadays, the bride typically chooses an item of sentimental value often to honor a loved one. Examples may include a pair of your grandmother's earrings, your mother's handkerchief or a maybe even a garter. For this exhibition, something borrowed refers to wedding gowns which were passed down within families and worn for multiple weddings.
Pictured Left: White cotton petticoat with tie at back waistband; knife pleats at bottom with shirring, embroidery (flowers), and lace at the ruffled hem. Medium length train, lots of fullness in back. This petticoat was the Mary Augusta McAllister's sister-in-law’s from her 1877 wedding. Mary wore it for her own wedding in 1881. Mary's wedding dress is featured in the "Something Old" section.