What Style of Cap Was Worn?

An endless variety of ladies' caps were worn in the mid-1860s. Caps had been around for a very long while, so the idea was not new. Only the styling changed to suit the fashions of the day.

As with many items, how elaborate the cap was depended on the formality of the occasion, the type of event, or the lady’s station in life. If you were wealthy, your cap would likely reflect your status. A lady of more moderate means would have a cap of more moderate appearance.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Caps are the most difficult articles to advise on; they almost entirely depend on the taste of the milliner and the fashion of the day." (Godey's, June 1860) Even the trendy Godey’s Lady’s Book could not give any concise or definitive guidelines on what was considered the appropriate look.

I like this cap because it is so straightforward without a lot of fuss and muss. In fact, some of the caps that I create are very similar to this design from Godey’s Lady's Book, July 1860. It is called the "Nell Gwynne" and is simply a "lace piece" gathered at the top with a bow.

Enjoy these carte de vistas from the era that show the variety of caps worn. Some I found online and others are from my collection.

A jaunty lace cap on a young lady

A pretty, and perhaps understated cap

Most definitely showing off her lace lappets!

Certainly this is a grand cap!

Once again, quite the fancy cap!
Note the tones of materials used for the cap—not unusual for this time period 

These ladies are sporting both square and rectangular caps
From "Forgotten Faces and Long Ago Places"

I enjoy making Victorian caps and have many listed in my shop!

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