If one understands by dress everything that human beings like to have around their body, including for example fans, walking sticks, gloves and fashion ornaments, then the Museum's dress collection contains about 5'000 objects. It is primarily a collection of bourgeois dress in Basel; workers' clothing is missing altogether and there are only a few examples of professional, official and casual clothing. Uniforms are included in the «Militaria» section or as part of the «State and Law» section.
The collection of dress from the second half of the 18th century is modest - the clothes were thrown out or ended up in the costumes chests for amateur theatricals or in the old-clothes cupboard for dressing-up for the Basel Carnival. The collection is concentrated more on gentlemens and ladies' clothes and accessories from the second half of the 19th century. Baby clothes and children's clothes of the late 19th and early 20th century, especially children's carnival costumes, are comprehensively represented.
Representative of local haute couture are several dresses from the studio of the Basel couturier Fred Spillmann (died 1986), and of international couture a few clothes and hats for women.