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In the Thirteen Colonies (More specifically, rich people’s clothing)

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1 In the Thirteen Colonies (More specifically, rich people’s clothing)
Colonial Fashion In the Thirteen Colonies (More specifically, rich people’s clothing) By Sasha Grand 7A3

2 Introduction- A Quick Run Down
The Colonial period was the late 17th century and the whole of the 18th century. During that time period, fashion changed drastically. As new ideas about fashion came in, and others went out, dress codes changed- for both men and women. It would be to complicated to talk about fashion as a whole for the thirteen colonies, so I am just going to talk about the rich people’s clothing.

3 Kid’s Fashion There really was no fashion for kids. They had no choice of what to wear. From the age of one to five, they were condemned to put on a dress- both boys and girls! Also, they had to wear a pudding cap, a hat to protect their head if they fell down. A pudding cap. It was like the modern crash helmet! The frock that boys and girls had to wear.

4 Kid’s Fashion (Again?) When kids were born, they had to wear an undergarment called a skeleton suit, which was usually made from a soft material such as silk or wool. When a kid turned seven they dressed like adults. If you were rich, you were able to afford to have your children’s clothes made by a tailor. Most of the time, however, it was made by your family. Also, kids had to wear stays, a garment which supported the back and was thought to support better posture. A skeleton suit. A children suit.

5 Materials Both poor and rich fashion was the same, but the difference was the material that it was made from. Rich people could afford imported silks and linen, from China and England, while the poor had to make do with the wool that they probably took from their own sheep. Also, the rich could afford to have their clothing embroidered with gold and silver threads making an elaborate design.

6 Men’s Suits Men’s suits consisted of many undergarments and coats. In the first layer their was a linen shirt with silk stockings. On the second layer their was a three point hat, shoes with a silver buckle, breeches, a waistcoat, a silk cravat, and a coat. Remember, when a kid turned seven he dressed like a mini adult.

7 Shoes Everyone knows girls love shoes! (I nearly forgot to put this slide in!) If you lived in the colonial period shoes were a necessity, especially in the winter, when you could get frostbite and other diseases. If you were rich you could afford fancy shoes and other items. Indian Moccasins were the most comfortable, but English shoes were the most stylish. English shoes were made from leather, velvet, linen, satin, and wood. The satin or velvet was used on the outside of the shoe. Linen was used on the inside. Then, the wood or the leather was used as the sole. In men’s shoes buckles were a must. They were more practical, made of a hardened leather. In order to be seen as a proper gentleman, you must have worn a buckle. Also, Men usually wore boots. Buckled shoes were only worn at parties, and very few could afford them. Fancy shoes came from England.

8 Gowns Women’s Gowns were very complicated. They had, on the inner layer a hooped petticoat, stays, and a shift. On the outer layer they wore an elaborate hat, a lace cap, a bodice and skirt joined together (a gown), shoes, and stockings. Also, Hoops were only worn at fancy parties, women did not wear them everyday.

9 Tailors Tailors were the people who made clothing. However, the people brought their fabrics to the tailor, he did not weave fabrics. The tailor was the one who made embroidered gowns that could cost a pretty penny. The poor had to make do with simple clothes. Also, clothes were considered a status symbol. If your clothes were nice, you were thought to be rich (you probably were if you had nice clothes), and if you were poor you had clothes made from rough fabrics. (it was the same fashion, it was just uncomfortable, made from cotton, wool, and other materials.) Tailors were one of the basic tradesman needed in a colonial town.

10 New England Clothing There is one word that describes New England clothing: Bland. Well, it is not really that surprising, because of the Puritan background. The Puritans believed in modesty, so women had to cover their hair and people could only wear simple clothes in modest colors like black and white (no embroidery, no fancy gowns). They also had to cover their body. Men dressed in simple, one colored suits. Also, women rarely dressed their hair, it was only done on gala occasions, where of course everyone had to look their best.

11 Middle/Southern Clothing
The middle colony had a mix of fashion styles. Because of the Dutch and Swedish heritage (Delaware and New York were Swedish and Dutch colonies.) knickerbockers were some what popular. They were a type of pants that came down to the knees. Men wore pieces of felt tied around their necks (an ancestor of the bow tie.) and wore the regular suits. Women wore sack back dresses. Also, horse back riding was popular along the Hudson River so soon people were wearing riding boots. In the south, people just wore what was fashionable. Also, kids had more freedom to choose what they wanted to wear.

12 Slave Clothing In the new English colonies there were slaves, a lot of them. And they had to wear clothing. Women wore a simple dress and an apron, if they worked in a kitchen. Men wore a shirt and some breeches. The clothing was extremely uncomfortable and made of wool. Imagine working in a field, you’re sweating like heck, and you’re wearing itchy, rough wool. Not so comfy. That was how a slave felt. Also, they were treated with hatred and contempt, so that did not make their job any easier.

13 Wigs Wigs were the most fashionable thing you could wear in the colonial period. They were made from donated hair or hair from other places (animals). It was a must for gentleman to powder their wigs, making them look pure white. However, despite their popularity, wigs started to disappear by the late 18th century. Women also sometimes wore wigs. They were powdered a bluish grayish color, making them look as if they were in their sixties. Men in the local militias instead of wearing wigs powdered their hair with chalk dust, making the impression of a wig.

14 Sources, - ALL ABOVE ARE FROM COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG - Retrieved from 11/7/11 to 11/29/11. - McPharlin, Paul. Life and Fashion In America 1650 – Hastings House, New York, 1946.

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