Historical Citizens Association
The Basic Impression:
What Every Civilian Re-Enactor Should Have
Clothing – one set (including undergarments, shoes, & headgear appropriate to your style of dress/impression). See next section for more details.
Chair (wooden/folding), and
Glass/Cup/Mug – please remember to keep hydrated!
Civil War (1860S) Clothing
Where to Look (for ideas):
Journal or Diary Accounts,
Photos (CDVs/carte-de-visites, Tin-types, Daguerréotypes, Ambrotypes, etc.)
Magazines with Fashion Plates (ex. Godey’s Lady’s Magazine).
Men’s Clothing –
Women’s Clothing –
(NOTE: Fit of the Bodice is Very Important in order to get
The Look correct!)
stockings, & petticoat(s) – as well as a hoop, depending on
day cap, etc.
Children – miniature versions of adults.
way to tell the sex of a young child, from an old photo, is by the placement of their hair part.
(Center Part = Girls, Side Part= Boys).
Ready-made vs. Home-made
While it may save you time to buy ready made to start with, due to the overall fitted look, you’ll save yourself $ (and some headache) by making & fitting your own clothing…or, if you’re not handy with a thread & needle, have someone else make them for you.
1st Person Vs. 3rd Person
1st Person – a presentation style in which one creates a character that may have lived at the time in question (and attempts to maintain the impression, in language behavior, tone of voice, etc. throughout the event). Examples of this can bee seen at Pilgrim Village in Plymouth, Mass., or in Colonial Williamsburg.
This method is highly recommended as it will help you hone your presentation in both appearance and manner. (For example, creating a character will influence what socio-economic level you portray in your style of dress, etc.)
Visit the Residents page to see how we created our 1st Person Characters.
3rd Person – a presentation style in which a modern person is commenting on life ‘back then’ versus life now. Docents at museums will often use this technique.
*The above information copied with permission from “Panel Discussion – 1860s Reenacting (Civilian)” Handout for Costume College 2007.
Need More Information or Help?
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