1860s



                                               






The American Civil War caused interruptions to the fashion trends, especially in the south. Cloth was scarce, the effort to clothe soldiers paramount. The sewing machine grew in popularity and abundance, causing an oversupply of seamstresses after the war. Women tried to keep fashionable, if only by altering old garments. Early into the 1860s, skirts were full all around, but after 1864 they became narrower and flatter across the front, extending out farther behind as they evolved towards the bustle.

Early Hairstyle Gallery


Dresses tended to be short-waisted, increasingly shorter in the waist towards the end of the 1860s. The bodice shoulders were long and sloping, fastening down the front, usually with buttons. Small collars came into fashion and many styles were tight to the base of the neck. Sleeves were wide and billowing in flares. Wide-buckled belts were common. Neck ribbons lost their popularity, and if worn were very narrow.

Hair Where the 1850s had the center part with wide puffs at the sides, the 1860s saw the same center part but with the hair drawn back tight behind the ears, or covering the ears but without the puff. Hair nets were fashionable but after 1863 the invisible style was preferred. Little girls wore their hair like the adult women, or sometimes with one side curled up and puffed, the hair being held in place by lard or grease. Women struggled to keep up with styles, in spite of the war, as long as they had access to current fashions from the magazines like Godey's and Harper's Weekly. The mothers' styles were created from the main bolt of fabric and the scraps were used from both girls and boys. Often, in photographs boys looked much like girls, the only distinguishing feature being that boys' hair was parted at the side and girls' hair in the middle.

The most dominant feature of the 1860s hair styles is the center part, with the hair pulled to the sides and the absence of bangs. The next most notable feature was the chignon introduced during the Victorian era about the 1850s but which remained dominant in the 1860s. This was a knot of hair or a roll of hair worn at the back of the head, often enhanced with lace, flowers, or netting, or arranged into loops and braids. It was at its peak in the 1860s, but employed throughout the century. It moved to the top or low back of the hair, and the front hair began to lose its part, with the hair around the face being curled into ringlets, then combed to soften the look. Hair styles for formal affairs were nearly always round, but much fuller behind and at the sides than in the front. They were enhanced by velvet, ribbons of silver and gold, as well as pearls and diamonds, and often supplemented with false hair, either human or animal. Ladies magazines advertised the false hair, whether it was already styled or could be pinned into a woman's natural hair and styled along with her own. It was the rural women, without the assistance of servants, who predominantly wore long hair over the shoulder. Topknots became smaller and moved to the back of the head, although the hair still maintained the middle part, pulled smooth at the sides, sometimes with ringlets and coils worn over the ears. 15hqql.




1860
Queen Emma
Sandwich Islands
1860
1860
1860


1861
1861
1861
1861
1861
1862
1862
1862
1862
Kate Terry
actress
1862
Princess Alexandra
1862
actress Kate Terry
Princess Alexandra
1863
1863
1863
1863
1863
1864
1864
1864
1864
1864
Empress Eugenia
1864
1864
Empress Eugenia
1865
1865
1865
1865
1865
1865
1865
Ada Richmond
actress
actress Ada Richmond
1866
1866
1866
1866
1867
1867
1867
1867
Middle Eastern Slave girl
1867
Middle Eastern slave girl
1868
1868
1868
1868
1868
1869
1869
1869
Opera Singer
1869
1869
1869
1869
European opera singer






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