Worthing Museum & Art Gallery

Events & Exhibitions

Costume Trail
1 October 2016 to 31 August 2018 - Autumn 2016 - Summer 2018

Location: Art Gallery
Contact:  01903 221 448

Costume, Fashion and Textiles, Event


Worthing Costume Trail is a wonderful way to discover the treasures hidden within Worthing Museum & Art Gallery’s costume collection. The trail features garments made and worn over the past 200 years, showcased at nine popular venues across Worthing. 

The latest displays of costume across the town are taken from the museum’s collection and presented outside its walls for the first time. From sumptuous 19th century pieces, to glamorous dresses of the 1930s and fabulous 1970s fashion. 

Thanks to support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and South East Museums’ Development Programme, each item on the trail is hosted in a new state-of-the-art showcase which not only keeps each piece in optimum condition but also means the museum’s other collections will also be portable in the future. 

Worthing Museum & Art Gallery’s costume collection is one of the largest in the country, numbering some 30,000 objects. The Costume Trail opens the doors of the museum to a wider audience, bringing our valuable costume collection out of the museum and into familiar locations and venues throughout Worthing.

Our illustrated trail map leads visitors on a journey across Worthing, uncovering a snapshot of the extensive costume collection and discovering more about the town’s social history and the lives of people who lived here.

The trail asserts Worthing Museum & Art Gallery as a centre of excellence for the visual arts and is creating a buzz about our costume collection and museum!

Costume map preview/download: PDF FileCostume trail map 2017 (6,900KB)


For a chance to win four cinema tickets to the Connaught Cinema, visit each of the trail sites and correctly answer the questions featured in the illustrated trail map. See the ‘Competition’ page for more details.


Share your pictures of the costume trail using #WMACostume and tag @worthingmuseum


One of the largest collections of its kind in the country, garments in WMA’s Costume Collection date from the 17th century up to the present day.
The collection is wide-ranging and encompasses all areas of costume and textiles including menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and accessories collected from all areas of society - from haute couture to high street, and includes exquisite dressmaker and homemade garments, all collected by museum staff since 1908. Key items include 19th century women's dress, underwear, swimwear, accessories, smocks and quilts.
The collection also covers a comprehensive archive of ephemera and associated material including fashion plates, paper patterns, magazines and photographs.


 red dress 400 x 400gold dress 400 x 400


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