Godeys fashion plate, June 1862
Fashion plates were hand-colored engravings that
appeared in womens 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 womens
magazines during the Civil War were Godeys Ladys
Book and Petersons Magazine. What follows
is the original description that accompanied this
plate in Godeys Ladys Book, June 1862.
Fig. 1Costume 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 2Dinner 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
Fig. 3Costume 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. 4Green Empress cloth riding habit; black
straw Tudor hat, with white plum; white gloves,
with black gauntlets.
Fig. 5Walking 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
Gift of Roger P. Templin