A brief review of how people obtained their clothing will aid in understanding the sartorial experiences of the army officers’ wives. In the grand scheme of human existence ready-to-wear clothing is a recent development. During the Civil War many rural men who served as soldiers were introduced to ready-made garments. That exposure helped make this type of clothing acceptable to them. In the summer of 1877, a fire consumed all her clothing. Stationed in a remote part of Arizona, she had little choice but to fall back on her own talents. For young wives, removed by time and distance from their home circle of female friends and relatives, the procurement of clothing helped keep loved ones close and relationships alive. Frances Grummond discovered that the insidious dust from the trail penetrated her trunks and the motion of the wagon caused it to act like pumice, shredding her clothing.