Bits and Baubles: A Look at Local Fashion History

17Fashion has many purposes. It can be practical, it can be beautiful, it can be silly, and it can also tell us a lot about history.

From design to textiles, clothes and the way we wear them can reflect the state of the world. That reflection will be clear in a new exhibit at the Fayetteville History Museum.

“Bits and Baubles: Selected fashion items from our collection” opened last week. Various women’s clothing items and accessories from the museum collection are displayed at the exhibition. Each exhibited object has a link with women’s fashion. The museum staff had a sort of shopping spree through the museum’s stored collection, but also brought a few personal items from their own past.

“The museum has a special collection of things that are not on display and are sometimes exchanged. And so we were able to peek behind closed doors and go through and pick out some things that were on display that have some unique stories to tell. And so we thought it would be fun,” said Heidi Bleazey, manager of historical and natural resources at the Fayetteville Historical Museum.

The name of the exhibition refers to “pieces” such as tidbits of local fashion history, customs of the past and the history of the local textile factory. “Balls” will also be exhibited in the main entrance gallery of the museum.
Bleazey says the exhibition is not a comprehensive look at fashion, but has several highlights for local fashion influences.

“We have some information about probably one of the most famous stories here in Fayetteville, the Capitol Department Store, or going back to colonial North Carolina and talking about the Edenton Tea Party,” Bleazey said. Up & Coming Weekly. “Not only did the women of Edenton boycott tea, but they also boycotted imported fabrics which must have wreaked havoc on their wardrobes – their patriotic statement of support for the colonies against the taxes imposed by the British,” she said.

There will also be information about the impact that African Americans had on the local fashion world of Fayetteville, as well as Massey Hill and the textile mills.
Another aspect of a historical exhibition is that it can be interactive. If people have their historical fashion items hidden somewhere in the attic or in a closet, they are encouraged to add them to the museum collection and put them on display.

The exhibition is located in the main museum gallery and is free to the public. The Fayetteville Historical Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Fayetteville Historical Museum is located at 325 Franklin Street in downtown Fayetteville.

The museum is part of Fayetteville Cumberland Parks and Recreation Historic and Natural Resources. For more information, visit or call 910-433-1457.

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