From formal balls to a night out on the town, clothing plays an important part in special occasions. This exhibition is about dressing up and going out from around 1850 to the present day. 

It explores some of the changes which have occurred in the types of clothing which are worn for special occasions, where these clothes are purchased from, and the kinds of events they are worn at. 

A number of garments, accessories and full outfits from the city’s dress collection will be on display. These include a 1930s beaded evening dress, an embroidered court uniform which belonged to Neville Chamberlain, cocktail dresses by Christian Dior and Norman Hartnell, and a lot of shoes. Most of these items have never been exhibited before. 

The display will also feature a selection of drawings, paintings, prints and photographs, including works by Vanley Burke, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 

Dressed to the Nines is one of a series of displays inviting our visitors to help shape the future of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.