The clothing of colonial Americans varied depending on area of residence, age, gender and socioeconomic status, but typically included gowns, petticoats, shoes and hats for women, and coats, hats and trousers for men. Seasons and weather also influenced the clothing worn by colonial Americans. Regardless of time of year, however, men and women wore multiple layers of clothing, and had clothes for formal as well as informal occasions.
As in modern times, colonial Americans wore garments and undergarments made in the United States or shipped from other countries. Women's shoes, for instance, came from England. Items made from silk, such as gowns and dresses, came from China, while the Netherlands exported an assortment of linen clothing. Knitted hats, often worn by slaves, came from England. During colonial times, men of higher socioeconomic status frequently ordered tailored coats from London.
Of all colonial Americans, women wore the most elaborate outfits. Typical attire for females included petticoats, undergarments, shoes, stockings, corsets and stays. Stays and corsets hugged the waists of women, providing shape and a modest appearance. Men also wore stockings and shoes. They sported petticoats beneath outer coats, which derived from lighter fabrics like linen and silk in the summer, and from wool in the winter. In rural areas, women often made their own clothing, particularly shirts and underwear.Learn More
Thanks to the efforts of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the New Deal included economic relief for women in the form of work opportunities, unemployment compensation and the ability to form unions. Prior to the First Lady's involvement, post-Great Depression economic relief measures focused only on men as breadwinners. Historians say the New Deal laid the foundation for many equal rights victories women experienced in years to follow.Full Answer >
Colonial women wore items such as petticoats, waistcoats, stockings, stays, smocks and caps. Women's best dresses were black and were kept for special occasions. Clothing worn every day was generally red, blue, brown, gray, white or yellow.Full Answer >
Colonial men wore wigs in the 17th and 18th centuries because they were considered fashionable, according to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. They had become extremely popular in England and in France before spreading to the colonies, first in the higher classes and then extending through the population.Full Answer >
The single-most famous person from colonial Georgia is James Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony, the first trustee and the first unofficial governor. There were other trustees and governors but none near as well-known and revered as Oglethorpe.Full Answer >