Thanks to Emma for this great post at A Dance In Time.
The basics for a woman’s 1860’s ball gown include the following…
A separate bodice and skirt. The skirt is full enough to cover a hoop, and the bodice is fitted. Remember, they wore corsets then!
A hoop skirt, or crinoline.
A petticoat or two, so that the line of your hoop won’t show beneath your skirt.
Bloomers, for modesty’s sake.
A Corset? Yes! If you can find or make one. They are very comfortable for dancing in, preferable to our 21st century undergarments. If you do find one, you will want a chemise, or, for simplicity’s sake, a modern camisole will work.
Slippers. Not ballet flats, but fitted slippers, that won’t fall off your feet. Long stockings are period correct with them, but are not necessary if you must do without.
Accessories, jewelry, handbags, fans, hair styles, etc. I will be doing a post on these soon. More details on our Accessories page.
For the men, there are two options, civilian clothes, or a uniform.
Civilian clothes include the following.
A shirt, or blouse, usually, with a high collar.
Trousers, preferably a higher waisted, rather then today’s low cut pants.
A jacket, with or without tails.
A cravat, a necktie.
A uniform has similar pieces, cut differently… pants, shirt, jacket, no cravat. Confederate or Union. Our ball is Confederate, but you are welcome to do either.
Shoes. Black dress shoes will work with either one. Tall boots are nice for the look of a uniform, but not always comfortable for dancing.
Hats. A soldier’s cap or broad brimmed hat.
Suspenders, or a belt.