Susan F. Craft
Historical Fiction Author
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Clothing

Well-to-do:

Ladies and young women:
  • Aprons were pinned to the front of the dresses (thus the name "pinafore")
  • Bodices usually closed with hook fasteners down the front
  • Busk-a wedge-shaped piece of thin wood covered in cloth, slipped in the bodice front to his the corset lacings
  • Capes were lined with fur
  • Chemise-underdress, often doubled as a lounging or morning dress
  • Corset-tied in front and worn with panniers (a hooped framework often made of cane, whalebone or wire), worn over a muslin camisole that doubled as a nightgown; corsets and shoes were often made of embroidered damask
  • Creped hair-curled hair tightly with an iron, teased it out until it stood high, and then powdered
  • Fan-many women carried fans
  • Kerchief and mobcap-head coverings; mobcaps were usually made of sheer white lawn with lace trim and ribbon
  • Shoes - made of silk brocade were worn by fashionable ladies
  • Skirt and corsets were separate pieces of clothing; skirts were slit at the sides to provide access to pocket-type garment that was tied around the waist underneath the skirt

Children:
  • Diapers-because of a shortage of pins were tied together
  • Clothes closely followed those of the adults

Men:
  • Banian-similar to a modern bathrobe, worn at gatherings or in public for dining; worn over waistcoat and knee breeches
  • Drawers of natural linen and white hose
  • Shirt was worn as shirt, undershirt, and night shirt
  • Stockings-- white silk thread stockings cost more than coat
  • Tam-o'-shanter-worn when not wearing a wig
  • Trousers (the opening in the front was called a "front fall"

Farmers, settlers, and the poor:
  • Capes were made of wool or fashioned from old quilts
  • Dress -bodice attached to corset and decorated with ribbon, elbow-length sleeves with shaped cuffs
  • Felt cocked hats
  • Gauze aprons covering the dress and wrapped around the waist with streamers were for dress up
  • Man's apron-square yard of fabric, cut off at the top corners to make a bib and attached to the coat button with a buttonholes and belted with a leather cord
  • Men sometimes wore Indian inspired attire of soft leather, moccasins and leggings or garments made of homespun cloth in dark colors; drop shoulder shirt, if ruffled, the ruffles were turned under for everyday wear
  • Powder horn and shoulder pouch for carrying shells
  • Shoes-sturdy for walking

Miscellaneous:
  • Armbands-black crepe armbands were worn instead of traditional all black mourning clothes; Continental Congress had asked people not to discard good clothes
  • Gloves were gifts at funerals
  • Linen woven by flax growers in Kingstree, sturdy, hickory colored ordinary
  • Uniforms
  • Colonial uniforms during the early years of the war were smocks and hunting clothes; regiments from different areas were distinguished by different colors. Later in the war, American uniforms were rebel blue, medium blue with buff colored facings. American partisans-the unofficial uniform was described as "a little low cocked hat, pea jacket, and canvas petticoat trousers not unlike a kilt, tight stockings and shoes with pinchbeck buckles." British Soldiers wore a woolen red coat with voluminous folds buttoned back to form lapels. A cocked hat, stiff stock, waistcoat, small clothes, and gaiters reaching just above the knee completed the standard uniform.

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