Clothing 1750- 1850

Although few Americans had the money for fancy European clothes, European countries still heavily influenced American clothing trends from 1750 to 1850. Styles often followed those of traditional beliefs and were somewhat conservative but much more comfortable and tailored. This generation was inspired by neoclassical tastes, defining the natural figure rather then accentuating the bust. During this time period clothing altered a great deal, dresses were much looser, and skirts were fuller and longer, taking attention away from the waist. Clothing was still handmade, and fabrics were expensive so most men and women had very few outfit changes.

The neoclassical influence was reflected in the elegant patterns, soft colors and delicate forms, the dresses would drape gracefully as presented on Greek statues. The photo below reflects the elegance in women’s fashion and the delicate domineer women of the early 1800s possessed.   Napoleon was another large influence, for he changed this period’s fashion with the empire waist,  which was named after Napoleons Empire. Women often wore light, fine dresses that differed from the previously cumbersome attires, as well as bonnet caps. To complete the fragile image women were trying to fulfill, they wore light accessories such as cashmere shawls and leather gloves. Much of the materials and fabrics were made in the home rather than in mills due to the increase in price of fabrics.

Men also starting dressing down quite a bit, they no longer wore as many thick layers of lace and embroidery but rather more simplistic styles. The cut, fit, and style became more important then the excess amount of fabrics and expensive embroideries. Breeches became longer, and coats were open-faced with longer tails. Men became more clothing- obsessed, wearing refined, hand selected, clothing, and were referred to as dandy’s. Men and woman, both, simplified European fashion to fit their much rougher lifestyles and warmer climates.

The intricate patterns and elegant appearances of these clothes often made isolated wealthy men and woman feel more sophisticated and cultured. Though both genders discontinued the usage of wigs and let their natural hair grow longer, contributing their idealistic simplistic style. Companies around today such as Fruit of the Loom, Levi Strauss, Coco Chanel, Abercrombie & Fitch, Brooks Brothers, Christian Dior, Lacoste, Balmain, Pucci, Gucci, Converse, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Versace and Donna Karen were all founded around the world and shipped to America during this time period, starting the demand for overseas designers. Overall, the fashion sense in America heightened immensely with tailored, elegant fabrics and simple form to fit the American lifestyle.–1820_in_fashion

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American Clothing 1750-1850

In times from the 1750s until 1850, clothing in America was still handmade, often woven in homes or mills. Clothing was made of wool and linen, and patches were often used, since cloth was so expensive. Most men and women didn’t have enough clothes to change everyday, but since cleanliness wasn’t like it is today, this wasn’t a problem.

Simple styles were popular among men, women, and children living in america during these times. Typically men wore suits, breeches, a long coat, with a hat, while women wore long dresses, and caps, also known as bonnets on there head. Women also wore hooded capes in the winter, made of wool. Most Americans did not have the money to keep up with fancy European styles, so they resorted to simple and cheap clothing, that was warm and easy to make.

The attached picture describes a typical New England farmer. For undergarments, men typically wore a shirt made of linen, that was also worn as a nightshirt as well. They usually only owned about two or three, and wore them all day and all night for weeks without washing them. They also wore stockings higher than the knee, held up by garters, also hand made. On top of that, men wore a sleeveless waistcoat, with buttons for fashion, unlike women, whom did not wear buttons. For pants men wore trousers made of linen. All men had worn a kerchief, or some form of neck cloth. On top of all that men wore a frock, or over shirt, made of wool intended to keep a man warm. Along with a frock, men wore hats also made of wool, with a brim all around it.

Typical new England farmer 1770

Clothing in these times were as simple as they were, because life in America was tough enough already. Americans led a more self-sufficient lifestyle, clothes were worn for durability and warmth, unlike in European countries where fashion said a lot about a person.


– Grady Kinnoin

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Clothing in American History 1750-1850’s

Clothing in American in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s got more stylish as time went along, but the income of the family still decided the clothing they would have. In these times clothing was still homespun and homemade by many families. Until the end of these times, homemade clothing were made more then in the mills. Clothing in British and France were more heavier and stylish, but in America it fit more to the hot and humid weather.

Just like earlier times the rich owned the richer clothing and the poor stood with homemade clothes that weren’t as stylish or comfortable. The wealthy plantation families’ styles were the closest to Britain. At the turn of the century, the Regency style started to become popular as it was inspired by ancient Greece and Rome, this was a slim dress, basic, and low necklines. Men’s clothing changed to a more athletic fit where they were able to do work easier.  A popular development of the century was the transfiguration of men’s knee breeches into trousers, and the creation of the lounge suit, which today is still worn. The children’s clothing became more athletic as well, being able to move freely as the play or work, open necked blouses woth pants that buttoned onto their blouse or jacket was popular.

This era specialized in creating a more comfortable and moveable clothing line to fit into the warm American weather. The picture that I uploaded illustrates the free movement that these kids have, showing how playful they are in their athletic clothing. Not only kids had these types of clothing, men and women’s styles and comfort revolutionized this era. Also wigs were discarded by both genders by the mid 1800’s to late, as people wanted a more simpler style.

As many families struggled to have money, they worked in hard conditions, so to help them out they started having clothing that weren’t as tight fitting as before. This elaborated with many of the jobs they did, and clothing styles fit more to the climate. As simple was the new style, and movement weren’t as restricted as before. As wealthy plantation families wore stylish and expensive clothing, the poor wore homemade clothing to benefit their income.

P.S. I inserted a photo but it wont come up with this paper, its in the gallery after you press the “add in photo” button on the top of the page by Upload/Insert.

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Clothing in American History

During the time period of 1600-1750, clothing in America was much different than today. Their were all sorts of clothing styles such as colonial styles and native american styles. They were very different from each other, but both shared the same purpose. Colonial clothing was how new settlers from england called colonists dressed.

In the 1620’s, colonial clothing was now starting. Colonial men dressed in baggy breeches, called “slops”, along with coats over a waist coat. Colonial women wore mob caps to cover their hair, along with big, thick dresses to cover their body. Clothing then was primarily made by hand by the wearer, using wool, leather, and linen. Shoemakers made shoes that fit both feet, rather than having a left and a right shoe. Colonists wore these clothes because it showed social status. They also needed clothes that lasted long, because most only had one set of everyday clothes.

Aside from colonial clothing, there was clothing of the native americans. During the 1600s, natives dressed the same as they always had, in deerskin. Deerskin was not all they wore, they also wore wool clothing they traded from Spanish settlers, because it was much cheaper. Natives wore their best clothing during special gatherings like festivals and ceremonies. This clothing was called “regalia” and consisted of nice jewelry, moccasins on their feet, headbands on their head, and a porcupine quill over there body.  They passed down their regalia to future generations to keep old traditions alive.

Both colonial and native american people had certain clothing styles. They were very different, but shared many things in common like reasons for their styles. They both wore clothes for warmth, working, and top show social status, and they both had a set of nice clothes for Sunday worship or special gatherings. People in the 1600-1750s needed clothes durable to last long, since they did not change clothes often. Times then was so much different compared to now, because instead of going to the store and buying cheap, factory made clothes, they made everything by hand, or rarely traded or purchased.



text book pages 110-111


-Grady Kinnoin


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Clothing in the 1600-1750

In early America clothing was just as important as today, colors of many sorts were worn with conscience and style was important. It wasn’t as judgemental as today though, everyone wore clothing the same way. Colonists weren’t put into differnet categories like today, for example their were no hip hop styles, or punk rock. It was either if you are poor or wealthy and no one cared about what you wore.

In this time period males wore linen clothing with cloaks and knit stockings and the women wore long dresses with bright colors along with a hooded cloak. Kids also wore wool or linen in all sorts of colors, for the ladies their dresses went down to their ankles. Wealthy men and kids wore black suits, hat, and black shoes on sundays for church ceremonies. Clothing also portrayed what you did as an career, men who worked jobs consisting of hard labor wore plainer and less expensive clothing. While rich men woresatin or velvet waistcoats richly decorated with embroidery, just like women; they wore whatever colors, it didn’t matter. Clothing were also affected by your religion, plainer clothing was adopted out of religious conviction. Women also wore plainer clothing if they worked tirelessly, gowns were covered with aprons, and the working class only had one outfit for the week and one for sunday. This illustrates the hardships these colonists faced when they weren’t wealthy.

Many colonists were not rich, the plan for many of them was to own a farm and sell their crops. Many farmers were poor so they needed their wives to help them in their labor, this illustrates the life back in the 1600’s. They struggled through diseases like small pox and other deadly diseases caused by lack of clean clothing. The way you dressed described your life as everyone wore the same clothing depending on your wealth. Many lower class colonists wore clothing out of wool, while the middle and upper class men wore clothing made by silk and linen.

In the 1600- 1750, the clothing you wore was based on the lifestyle you lived. Clothing was expensive and hard to get. Wool being the cheapest was the warmest, so it contributed a great deal to the survival of poor farmers during the winter. The lack of clothing killed some colonist espicially the ones who were homeless, because of the lack of jobs in the 1700’s n Britain which caused them to come to American looking for a career.


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