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The doomed offspring of pop-wreck Britney Spears might have it tough. But at least the Disastrous Diva© doesn't make her boys wear dresses and corsets like young lads in the Western Reserve Historical Society's costume exhibit, Short and Sweet: Two Centuries of American Childhood. The collection — on display through the end of November 2008 — depicts children's clothing from 1740 to 1960 and examines how trends came and went, like the 1950s tradition of mothers sewing handmade dresses for their daughters. And before 1900, boys essentially dressed like girls. "People will see some of these dresses and assume they were for girls," says Megan Spagnolo, the museum's curator of costumes and textiles. "But some of them were for boys." At today's opening, Spagnolo will also talk about the corsets that even children wore in the 18th century to help them improve their posture. "People are familiar with women wearing these garments, but children wore them too," she says. "It's kinda disturbing." The exhibit runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, through Sunday, November 30, at the Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Boulevard. Admission is $8.50 ($5 for kids). Call 216-721-5722 or visit www.wrhs.org.
Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 16. Continues through Nov. 30, 2008

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