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Godey’s fashion plate, June 1862

Fashion plates were hand-colored engravings that appeared in women’s magazines. Since clothing could not be obtained ready-made, these plates provided information to dressmakers and home sewers on the latest fashion trends. In the United States many of the engravings were copied from plates in French magazines. The two most popular American women’s magazines during the Civil War were Godey’s Lady’s Book and Peterson’s Magazine. What follows is the original description that accompanied this plate in Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1862.

Fig. 1—Costume for a watering-place, and suitable for half mourning. Black French grenadine dress, made over black silk; White pique sacque, bound with braid, and trimmed with braid and buttons. Standing collar, with black silk neck-tie. Low-crowned leghorn hat, bound with black velvet, and decorated with a black velvet bow and black plume.
Fig 2—Dinner dress. Dress of Satin de Mai, made over a thin blue silk; The skirt is edged with a band of blue silk, and trimmed with ruches of blue and white silk, sewed on in points. The body is full, with straight waist, blue belt and clasp. The sleeves consist of a full plaited jockey; the long sleeves are of white muslin. Hat of mixed chip and straw, decorated with a blue rosette and light fancy feather.
Fig. 3—Costume suitable for a young lady. Pink grenadine dress, with Pompadour corsage and muslin chemisette, with full muslin ruff round the throat. The corsage is trimmed with a box-plaiting of pink silk, which trimming is also placed just above the hem of the skirt. The sash is wide pink ribbon, with fringed ends.
Fig. 4—Green Empress cloth riding habit; black straw Tudor hat, with white plum; white gloves, with black gauntlets.
Fig. 5—Walking costume. White grenadine dress, with embroidered figure; corsage plain; skirt trimmed with five box-plaited flounces bound on each edge with purple silk; Scarf mantle of the same material, and trimmed to match the skirt; Fancy straw hat, trimmed with ribbons and a long white plume.

Division of Social History, Costume
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Behring Center
Gift of Roger P. Templin


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