Thank you for stopping by! We hope our site will help you to learn more about women's clothing during the American Civil War. Please let us know if you have any suggestions - we are always adding new information!

As with any historical impression, your best resource will be the writings and photographs of the Original Cast! We encourage you to check out the list of Diaries and Memoirs from ladies in the 1860s to glean information for your clothing and general impression.

The clothing of an 1860s woman was both beautiful and practical. Each item had a purpose. A modern lady who wishes to properly reenact an 1860s woman will be most comfortable and authentic if she replicates these items as closely as possible.

Not everyone has the budget to start off with a full 1860s ensemble. We recommend that you start with a good corset, chemise, drawers, cage and petticoat (see our Undergarments section). Each of these items (with the possible exception of the corset and cage) can be made yourself with free patterns. Wearing these items will ensure that your dresses fit properly and comfortably.

A nice cotton day dress is a good and economical place to start your wardrobe, once you have your undergarments. However, if you plan to only "reenact" at balls, then obviously a good ball dress would be your best choice to start off. Check out our Dresses page and see links to the many types of outfits ladies wore in the 1860s.

We have a page for "Civil War Dress On A Budget" that is a short overview of what you need to get started as a lady in reenacting, as well as ways to keep the cost down. For those wishing to get started in ballroom dances, we also have "Civil War Ball Gown On A Budget."

Of course, a good reenactress is more than simply a clothes horse. Manners, customs and knowledge of 1860s topics will help round out your impression. Check out the Resources page for lists of good books, reenactor forums, and blogs to help you learn more about your 1860s persona.

Thanks again for checking us out! We hope you enjoy your time here... and your journey as a reenactress!

Holly - southernserendipity1865@gmail.com
Heather - creativecockades@gmail.com 
Raquelle - genteeltreasures@gmail.com