Dress, evening-style, of off white silk satin. Off-the-shoulder neckline, with pleated silk ribbon trim at shoulders and down center front. Hand-made point de gaze lace trim at arms and alongside pleated ribbon. Front is trimmed with satin rosettes and satin bows.
Although married in Chicago in 1858, it was not until 1874 that the McCormick family constructed a permanent Chicago residence. They had homes in both New York and Washington and traveled abroad extensively, particularly to European expositions at which McCormick agricultural machinery was exhibited. The Chicago History Museum also owns a portrait of Mrs. McCormick by G.P.A. Healy in which she wears this dress. Subtle differences between the dress in the painting and the one in the museum's collection are visible. Family members donated the dress more than seventy-five years after it was worn, providing plenty of opportunities for alterations. It is also possible the painter simply reinterpreted certain elements of the gown to fit the painting or Mrs. McCormick's wishes.
Charles Frederick Worth and Otto Bobergh founded Worth & Boberg in Paris in the fall of 1857 or 1858. In 1860, the business appeared in the local trade directory under "couturiers et nouveauts confectionnes" (designers and prepared novelties). By the 1870s, Bobergh was no longer involved with the company, and the House of Worth was well established as the arbiter of fashionable dress.