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1860s Collection

The Civil War made military style popular for civilians. Embellishments like those on military uniforms became fashionable for daily wear.

Although the basic silhouette remained the same as the previous decade, the fullness of shirts increased. Dresses could be one or two pieces with a slightly raised waistline. Skirts were flat in the front and gathered or pleated onto the waistband. By the late 1860s, the skirt fullness moved to the back of the dress as a precursor to the bustle.

Practical ensembles consisted of a skirt, long sleeved bodice for day, and an off- the-shoulder evening bodice. The matching skirt and jacket of this decade was the forerunner of the tailored womans suit worn in the 1890s.

Wealthy women could afford dresses made of silk, velvet, fine lawn, and muslin. Prints with stripes and plaids required more fabric to make a dress because they were hard to match. Working class women wore dresses made of linen, linsey-woolsey (a linen and cotton blend) and calico.

Front view of a carpet bag with rose designs from the 1860s

Carpet Bag

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Front view of a Lincoln fan from the 1860s

Memorial Hand Fan

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Wedding Dress Ensemble: 1 Front Long Sleeve

Wedding Dress Ensemble

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Front view of Welsh shoes from the 1860s

Child's Shoes

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Brown Wedding Dress With Lacey Bit: Front

Two Piece Wedding Dress

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Purple Beaded Cap: Front

Beaded Cape

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Man's Coat: Front

Frock Coat

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Civil War Forage Cap: Front With Fold

Civil War Forage Cap

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Necklace: Full


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Leather Boots: Full

Leather Boots

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