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Civil War Ball

Guidelines for dress - Ladies

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Guidelines for dress - Gentlemen
Guidelines for dress - Ladies
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Balls and Wars

Need a dress? As of this year, my aunt is making authentic dresses for others that need them (instead of just my sister and I). If you pick out and pay for the material and all of the supplies, she will only charge $75 to sew it. If you are interested, please e-mail me (at and let me know. :)



Ladies,  a ball is an opportunity to dress in your most elegant manner;  however, your gown should be modest and appropriate for the period.  We wouldn't want even a breath of scandal!  Moderately off the shoulder is acceptable. but no lower, please! 

Keep in mind that during this period, if a young man saw a young lady’s ankles he would have to ask her father for her hand in marriage!!!  Although ankles should be covered, it is advisable to have your gown well enough off the floor that dancing is not hindered.

Note: Full black was only worn by those in mourning.

If you want to purchase a dress, look on E-bay or other websites. 

You may also make a dress from a sewing pattern found in the costume section, or purchased online from a civil war website.

The wise and thrifty lady may search second hand stores and embellish a dress they find there to suit them.  In that way, the family finances may be kept for more patriotic purposes. Young Scarlett O'Hara made quite a suitable dress from her velvet drapes.  Although we do not recommend the removal of your household drapes, we admire her ingenuity.  

Every lady should wear a hoop skirt.  This was the proper attire for the day.  One can purchase a hoop on the internet.  We have also seen these in second hand stores with the wedding attire, or in bridal shops.

Gloves:  All ladies MUST wear gloves.  No lady would ever offer a bare hand to a gentleman!

Hair:  Hair for this age group should not be left down.  Only very young girls would leave their hair down.  For the young adult, a bun or twist with ringlets would be appropriate.

Shoes:  Flat shoes are appropriate and comfortable for dancing.  Wearing high heels would be a regrettable decision.

You may get some ideas from these great websites: