Dressing in a colonial costume doesn't require purchasing a pre-made costume. Most of the items colonial Americans wore every day are items of clothing that many of us still have in our wardrobes. You can find basic pieces of a colonial outfit in your own closet, and then make the costume look more authentic with colonial-style accessories, such as a leather vest, plain leather shoes and a bonnet or hat.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- White dress shirt, for men or women
- Solid, striped or checkered floor-length cotton skirt for women
- White apron, for women
- Straw hat or white fabric and string, for women
- Solid trousers, for men
- Brown leather or cotton vest, for men
- Handkerchief or cloth swatch
- Plain leather shoes or boots
- Straw hat or fabric to make a cap
Find a plain, white dress shirt that doesn't have any logos or fancy buttons on it. Put it on and roll up the sleeves to the elbow.
Choose a long cotton skirt that is floor length or nearly that long. Pick a skirt that is full and either in a solid, dark colour or plaid, checkered or striped.
Tie a plain, white apron around your waist.
Tie a handkerchief or swatch of fabric around your neck. These were worn to prevent sunburn in colonial times.
Place a straw hat on your head or make a white bonnet. To do this, take a circle of white fabric and tie it to your head using a white string. Put on plain leather shoes that lace up or lace-up boots.
Put on a long-sleeved white dress shirt. Choose a shirt that doesn't have any logos on it. Make sure the shirt is slightly wrinkled to give it an authentic look.
Pick out a pair of trousers that are solid-coloured in brown, navy or black. Do not wear jeans. These trousers should also be slightly wrinkled.
Find a cotton or leather vest that is brown or blue. This will help make your costume look authentic.
Tie plain fabric around your neck as a handkerchief.
Put on brown leather boots or lace-up shoes. Add a straw or felt hat on your head.
Tips and warnings
- If you have time, you can remove the buttons of the white shirt and sew on brown wooden buttons.
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