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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beyond the Book: Civil War Underwear

Here's a list of the Civil War womens clothing that they wore starting next to the skin and working out in layers:

Layer 1
* Drawers (underpants) made of cotton or linen and trimmed with lace
* Chemise (long undershirt) usually made of linen. This was like a loose gown that protected clothing from sweat, body oils, etc.
* Stockings held up with garters

Layer 2
* Corset or stays stiffened with whale bone
* Crinoline, hoop skirt, or 1 or 2 petticoats (dark color if traveling due to mud and dirt)

Layer 3
* Petticoat bodice, corset cover, or camisole

Layer 4
* Bodice
* Skirt, often held up with "braces" (suspenders)
* Belt
* Slippers made of satin, velvet, done in knit, or crochet

Layer 5 (outerwear for leaving the house)
* Shawl, jacket, or mantle
* Gloves or mitts
* Button up boots
* Parasol
* Bonnet or hat
* Bag or purse
* Handkerchief
* Fan sometimes made of sandalwood
* Watch pocket
Information from

chemise. picture from




Teresa Cypher said...

Wow--interesting, Elaine. That is a lot of clothing! I'd die from the heat.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Yes, imagine wearing all of that.