Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - June 1862 Peterson's Magazine
Dresses still continue to have the skirts gored, thus diminishing the fullness around the waist, though they are not made quite as narrow at the top as heretofore. Trimmings of various descriptions are again coming into favor: one favorite style being very narrow fluted flounces of the same silk as the dress, placed two and two together: another style is a fluted flounce about six or seven inches deep, set on with narrow heading. A very striking trimming for a dress of light gray silk is formed by rows or ribbon, the four colors of the rainbow; they should be either eight or twelve in number, and the widths should graduate. Narrow ruches, waved or formed into Greek borders, is a favorite trimming, these should be the color of the dress. Ribbon or velvet, contrasting in color to the dress, and arranged in the Greek or Ionic border, will be likewise worn.
Bodies of dresses, when high, are closed with small buttons. Many of the new dresses are opened part of the way down the front of the body in a heart-shape, or square, a la Raphael; whilst others, of very thin material, are made low in the nexk, and can either be worn with a cape, or a white over-body. Over some of the high bodies are worn what is called the Spanish jacket, which somewhat resembles the Zouave jacket, but fits the figure more closely, and is much shorter.
Another style of high body will have a small jacket at the back only, similar to a habit. A favorite style of trimming high bodies will be Arabesque designs in braid, very narrow velvet, or silk gimp: with this style a kind of fringe should ornament the sleeves and round the waist.
Sleeves are large, even when shaped at the elbow: puffed sleeves will be worn, but very few tight to the arm.
The Medici ceintures appear to be now, with many persons, an indispensable article of dress. They are made in a variety of ways, and are trimmed in so many different styles that it would be impossible to describe all we have seen. The ceintures are all made with pointed bands round the waist, and have two ends falling down the skirt on each side of the point. Small trimmed pockets are generally inserted in the ends, or a trimming to imitate them is substituted.
We have noticed these sashes in plain silk, with corss-bars of velvet, fastened by beads, as an ornament for the bottom. Others have an end of embroidered net, and others are merely trimmed with ruches; but the pointed band is invariably ornamented to correspond with the two ends.
Of fichus, and black and white net Zouave jackets, for evening wear, we can only say that they are as much worn as ever; as are also velvet jackets, embroidered in steel or black.
Short sacques, made of silk, cloth, or sacque flannel, are universally worn. These sacques are loose, have moderately wide coat-sleeves, and are trimmed with designs in braiding, gimp binding, etc.
Bonnets continue to be worn projecting in the front, and cut away at the side. They are covered tight to the shape, with a cord poping round the edge, and the curtain neither so wide nor so deep as formerly. The trimming is somtimes laid on the crown, and sometimes on the front of the bonnet, being usually of flowers, berries, and green leaves, with tufts of the same as under-trimming. A very simple but lady-like style is to place a bow of broad ribbon on the front of the bonnet, passing a long piece of the same over it, in the center, and giving it one twist, on each side, in bringing it down to the points where it forms the strings.