Half-Mourning Dress


The Victoria & Albert Museum

What’s a “half-mourning” dress?  Mourning in the front, party in the back?

Half-Mourning was the third stage of mourning for a widow. She would be expected to mourn her husband for at least two years, the stages being Full Mourning, Second Mourning and Half-Mourning. The different stages regulated what they would be wearing, with Full Mourning being all black and with no ornamentation, including the wodow’s veil, and the stages after that introducing some jewellery and modest ornamentation. When in Half-Mourning you would gradually include fabrics in other colors and sort of ease your way out of mourning. 

Wow, I am happy you made that joke so I could interpert it as a serious question and have an excuse to ramble on about clothing customs of the past, I am a historical fashion nerd.

That’s very informative, but I’m going to stick with my original head canon:


I love both the informed fashion history and the hilariously off-the-wall halves of this post.

I feel like the version of history presented in this artwork here is better than reality, and so choose to believe this is totally what a Half Mourning Dress is :D


Matt: Question two.

Karen: Oooooh.

Matt: Oooooh what’s it gonna be? Um, how long have you had a crush on me?

Karen: WHAT?

Matt: That’s the question.

"Matt and Karen are both so brilliant. I’m not being flippant - they are honestly incredible and we’re lucky to have them." - Steven Moffat