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: