Civil War Riding Habit Sources

(Not Complete)



Photographic Sources


Braid-Trimmed Habit, Top Hat

Girl in Military-Styled Habit

CDV: Riding Hat, Shorter Skirt

Actress Kate Bateman in Riding Dress as Lady Gay Spanker



Fashion Plates

Consider fashion plates for ideas and examples.  Relatively few women could afford,

or even wanted, the lavish trendiness of the pictures.


1856: Black Habit with Top Hat

1860: Blue Habit

1860: Riding Habit

1861: “Green Empress cloth riding habit; black straw Tudor hat, with white plume; white gloves, with black gauntlets.”

1861: “Latest Equestrian Fashions”

1862: Equestrian Costume

1862: May Godey’s – Ladies’ Riding Dress  (Description)

1863:  Latest Style of Riding Dress


1875: Ladies’ Breeches

(Use this as an example only, just for an idea.  1875 fashions were very different from the 1860s.)


Punch Riding Cartoon

(A humorous cartoon from Punch, but the lady is drawn realistically.)


May Sartoris, 1860, by F. Leighton

A portrait of a young girl in riding dress.



The Tailor’s Guide, 1855

Descriptions and pattern diagrams for tailoring ladies’ riding habits.


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Pattern Plate 1

Pattern Plate 2





Excerpts from Period Sources

Recommendations from Elizabeth Stewart Clark