Woman's Wear

Ladies at a Reenactment

two ladies1.JPG (89827 bytes)

The ladies shown here are wearing excellent examples of the type of day dresses 
you will most often find at Civil War events. In the long run, what you wear relates directly to the persona you are portraying and the various choices that would have been available to persons in the persona's social strata.

While this is the general look you will find, you have to think about who you are 
and what you are doing before you launch into a clothing campaign.

The material below offers some possibilities for women in various situations 
and is by no means definitive.

Princess dress with plain sleeves,
a very new fashion.
Generally colorful and, possibly, with a dot pattern finished by a white collar and cuff.

Cameroon blouse with lots of tucking,
corsage bodice (very common - could be
hip or knee length in front, back or both, bodice front could also be waist length)

Blouses were often linen and likely to be red or white

suit 4c.GIF (2735 bytes)
suit 5b.GIF (4389 bytes)  

Ball gown in satin and lace combinations: could be white lace over blue satin , black lace over yellow or pink, white with red or pea green.

suit 4d.GIF (3600 bytes) Berber Spanish Jacket or Bolero (croched, knitted or sewn, trimmed heavily with beads, cording or ribbon) and featuring epaulettes. Often worn with a fan pleated blouse.
suit 4a.GIF (3030 bytes)  

Factory girl 1850's - 1870's
No hoop, apron
and undersleeves for easier cleaning, straw hat
Would carry a metal lunch pail

From the 1830's on women worked in mills and other manufacture where a hoop and excessive trim  on their clothing would not only be silly but dangerous. During the War, in particular, women worked in munitions plants as did young girls - to, generally, the exclusion of boys as they smoked around the gunpowder....

suit 4b.GIF (3795 bytes)



Two Worth designs from the 1850's

The Jacket over a dress is the  the beginning of the tailored suit and was often trimmed with braid in a pretty design with shoulder interest.

suit 5a.GIF (2188 bytes)
sleeves24.GIF (15504 bytes)