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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Beyond the Book: #CivilWarLadiesAccessories

If you've read Fortuna, you know that my heroine, Aimee, started an online business selling authentic reproduction clothing from both the Revolutionary and Civil War Eras. Let's talk for a minute about the Civil War costumes. I bet everyone knows what the big, hoop-skirted dresses looked like, but have you ever thought about accessories and undergarments? They aren't the same as what we wear. Let's start with accessories.

All ladies liked jewelry. They preferred a rosy gold color, and the earrings and brooches they wore were on the small side. They liked dangly earrings and either oval or vertical brooches at the top of the collar. It wasn't polite to show much skin before the afternoon. They enjoyed wearing matching, chunky bracelets on each arm.

Fans were also a necessity. It's hot in the South, and a fan stirred the air and cooled you off. You could have a palmetto frond fan, but it was fun to have one that was somewhere between six and ten inches long and was painted with elaborate scenes.

And speaking of the heat, fragrant flowers were made into nosegays that could be extremely helpful in an era without deodorant.

A lady always has her purse, right? Small drawstring bags were popular.

Lace was rarely used except for collars and cuffs which were usually white, and please don't forget the parasol. White skin was popular, and the parasols kept the hot Southern sun off delicate skin.

If you don't want to wait until next week for more, my source for this post was:

Fortuna blurb:
Aimee Sherwood never dreamed that following her fiancĂ© into the witness protection pro-gram would land her in a haunted house in a town that’s downright creepy. She’d have laughed if she had been told the guy who lives down the road might be her soul mate, not the man whose ring she’s wearing. Life in West Virginia is nothing like life in Los Angeles, but between bean ball battles with Marilyn Monroe, remodeling a crumbling farmhouse, and starting a new online business, life in the country is anything but boring.

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This is a Jenny Lind fan introduced into America by PT Barnum during the mid 1860's.

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