White High Bodices for evening wear are now displayed in great variety, and many of
them are very tastefully arranged.
Peterson’s National Magazine, July 1863
Ladies’ Evening Dress of the Civil War Era contains illustrations of evening
gowns originally published in issues of Godey’s Lady's Book and Peterson’s
National Magazine from 1859 to 1864. The illustrations, mainly from my own collection
supplemented with some from the extensive collection of Patri and Barbara Pugliese.
In addition to evening gowns, this volume includes a few illustrations of dinner gowns
(for examples of more modest evening dress), as well as costume accessories,
hairstyles, and headdresses. This is an excellent resource for anyone participating in
an event, be it a Vintage Dance, a Dickens’ Christmas, Period Wedding or formal Civil War reenactment.
Godey’s and Peterson’s are a treasure trove of information on ladies’
fashions. It is interesting to note that illustrations were often copied from one
magazine to another, and quite often began life in French or English magazines. The
numerous illustrations included in this volume exhibit the ways that the basic evening
gown shape, which was nearly universal, could be trimmed in a myriad of different ways
to create interesting and unique gowns. Included in this compilation are a number of
reduced scale patterns, originally published in the magazines, for evening bodices and
trimmings. Outfits were often given fanciful names by the editors such as the Juliet,
the Saratoga, or the Jenny dress. Readers were also advised on the correct colors and
fabrics for a given season, as well as on the occasional point of etiquette.
8 ½" by 11" high quality photocopy, with stapled binding
over 125 black and white illustrations
first published 1999
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