Old Photos

Ladies in Similar Civil War Attire

Our first photograph is probably two sisters.  Their dresses are virtually identical, one being a bit lighter in color.  Their full bishop sleeves have matching trim at the cuffs and upper arms, as well as the bottom of the skirts.  A button-up bodice, is finished with a white collar.  Notice how the armscye, or circular opening for the sleeve, is low on the upper arm.  This looks uncomfortable to me, but it was the fashion for most of the 1860’s.

Our second photo is of an older woman, whose dress looks to be made of a more expensive material.  Her bishop sleeves also have trim, as well as the upper bodice, but none at the skirt.  She wears a nice brooch at her throat, and a fur wrap.  The wrap does not look especially warm, more likely it was for show.  But her fur muff on the table does look very comfortable.  A white bonnet completes her outfit.

The last photograph was taken towards the end of the decade.  This woman’s hair is not drawn back as severely as in the first two photos.  Also, the skirt of her dress has lost some of the fullness in front, and added in the back.  This was to allow for oval hoops that became popular after the war.  Her sleeves are set closer to the shoulder, with decoration down the sleeve to the wrist, which matches the bodice decoration.  This dress has a higher waist than the others, set off with a wide belt with buckle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s photos!

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