Ladies--Right from the Front--Resaca--Latest War Fashion

Joined
Dec 12, 2020
There's a reason I'm line infantry...just saying.
I was talking to the medical group at the reenactment I went to this weekend. I'm going to try out a couple events with them. I can wear a plain dress or uniform pants, they don't care. They have some clothes I can borrow to start out. I wouldn't mind wearing a plain nurse dress. We'll see how it goes.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I was talking to the medical group at the reenactment I went to this weekend. I'm going to try out a couple events with them. I can wear a plain dress or uniform pants, they don't care. They have some clothes I can borrow to start out. I wouldn't mind wearing a plain nurse dress. We'll see how it goes.
Get yourself a nice camp dress and a petticoat that has the rope in it..or just a few petticoats for that matter!
 

Yankee Brooke

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Location
PA
Honestly I'd be tempted to just go pants and vest for a medical impression. I have a civilian vest and butternut pants that I might pull double duty with as a civilian at certain places. A good beat up slouch hat with that get up, the line between "Confederate soldier" and "farmer coming in from chores" is blurry to non-existant. And if somebody notices I'm wearing Richmond depot pants? Well I served in the ANV and was mustered out after my enlistment expired, and wasn't about to let a perfectly good pair of pants go to waist!

It's cheaper and I don't have to worry about the torture device known as a corset....
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Honestly I'd be tempted to just go pants and vest for a medical impression. I have a civilian vest and butternut pants that I might pull double duty with as a civilian at certain places. A good beat up slouch hat with that get up, the line between "Confederate soldier" and "farmer coming in from chores" is blurry to non-existant. And if somebody notices I'm wearing Richmond depot pants? Well I served in the ANV and was mustered out after my enlistment expired, and wasn't about to let a perfectly good pair of pants go to waist!

It's cheaper and I don't have to worry about the torture device known as a corset....
Thanks, they said they had clothes I could borrow for this year. I'm doing just two events to try it out. Did nurses wear a corset? That's a deal breaker and I'd go with pants.
 

Yankee Brooke

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Location
PA
The ladies wore corsets doing other work/chores, so I don't see why nursing would be any different...
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
The ladies wore corsets doing other work/chores, so I don't see why nursing would be any different...
I'm open to correction here, but I think it was a class thing. Middle and upper class ladies wore corsets. Also the more tailored (snuggly fit) the dress, the more it showed wealth. Ladies with money could hire a seamstress to fit the dress perfectly, whereas the woman making her own calico dress did not have the skill.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I'm open to correction here, but I think it was a class thing. Middle and upper class ladies wore corsets. Also the more tailored (snuggly fit) the dress, the more it showed wealth. Ladies with money could hire a seamstress to fit the dress perfectly, whereas the woman making her own calico dress did not have the skill.
Never underestimate the skill of a woman with a needle. And in fact many of the “lesser“ classes may have been better with a needle than the upper class women were. They really did have to remake clothes, and I will tell you, having seen original garments, those gals were wicked with a stitch, both poor and wealthy..and then we will talk about the decorative stitching, samplers etc..yea gawds the skill!
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Never underestimate the skill of a woman with a needle. And in fact many of the “lesser“ classes may have been better with a needle than the upper class women were. They really did have to remake clothes, and I will tell you, having seen original garments, those gals were wicked with a stitch, both poor and wealthy..and then we will talk about the decorative stitching, samplers etc..yea gawds the skill!
For sure sewing skills could be shared by all classes of women! My mother made all our clothes until she started working full time. The issue I was trying to point out was the amount of tailoring a woman sewing her own clothes could reasonably do. I don't know if there were dress forms in 1860. When you look at photos from that era, the higher class women are wearing dresses very tightly fitted to their bodies with expensive looking lace and braid and ribbons. If you have someone to pin the seams up for you, and to pin the hem so it is the right length, the sleeve length, etc. your dress will look more polished. There is a certain amount of skill in that. Poorer people made their own clothes, but you can tell what has been professionally tailored. Not everyone could be a seamstress. Not many people can alter a man's suit, and the better dresses of the CW were at least as complicated
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
For sure sewing skills could be shared by all classes of women! My mother made all our clothes until she started working full time. The issue I was trying to point out was the amount of tailoring a woman sewing her own clothes could reasonably do. I don't know if there were dress forms in 1860. When you look at photos from that era, the higher class women are wearing dresses very tightly fitted to their bodies with expensive looking lace and braid and ribbons. If you have someone to pin the seams up for you, and to pin the hem so it is the right length, the sleeve length, etc. your dress will look more polished. There is a certain amount of skill in that. Poorer people made their own clothes, but you can tell what has been professionally tailored. Not everyone could be a seamstress. Not many people can alter a man's suit, and the better dresses of the CW were at least as complicated
Well, the thing is, what you do is make a muslin and then you pin that up so that it fits you correctly. Not easy, but it can be done. And yes, the fit of a work dress is vastly different from the fit of a seperate bodice/skirt combo. Everyone pretty much wore stays..but not always laced tightly. Especially if you had to work in them!
 
Top