For women Civil War reenactors, this book is a MUST! Do NOT be deterred by the...pricetag. The money that you spend on this reference is money you will save several times over by not buying inaccurate stuff that ultimately will have to be replaced. I picked up my copy at the same time that I picked up my first reenacting dress, accessorized with wide embroidered collar. Oops! The book was an excellent idea. The collar no longer goes with me to events.
Ms. Leisch bases her study of 1860s fashions on cartes de visite (CDVs), which she notes can be dated fairly accurately based on the types of paper used and photography studio information. She organizes her book by clothing types--coats, day dresses, ball gowns, underpinnings, etc., and particularly emphasizes fashion differences between young women, middle-aged women and older women. "Who Wore What" contains many, many photographs of what women actually wore to the photographer--not the fantasy dresses of Godey's Lady's Book. (Godey's fashion illustrations were for inspiration and not copied from real dresses.)
I notice something new every time I go back through this wonderful book.