How to look like a gold miner

Updated February 21, 2017

The year 1848 brought many visitors to California. However, the visitors were not in California to enjoy the Pacific Ocean. Each male, female and child came to strike gold hidden in the mountains and rivers of northern California. Mining for gold was difficult and required clothes that were rugged and resilient enough to withstand rough terrain in the California mines. Dress like the gold miners that visited California during the gold rush with clothes found in your closet or from a thrift store. Wear the costume for a class presentation or play about the California gold rush at school.

Select a plain long-sleeved button shirt to initiate the gold mining costume. A long-sleeved thermal shirt will also work, since gold miners wore thermal tops to keep themselves warm. Place a cotton vest over the long-sleeved or thermal shirt to give the costume more authenticity.

Put an old pair of denim trousers or canvas works trousers on and tuck the long-sleeved button or thermal shirt into the trousers. Put on a plain brown leather belt or use a cotton rope to keep the trousers in place. Clip the suspenders onto the pant's waistband in the front and back of the trousers.

Slip the tube socks onto your feet and put the pair of black boots on. Boots that are worn and tattered will make the costume appear more realistic than new boots. Keep the top of the boots hidden under the trousers.

Fold a bandanna diagonally in half and wrap the bandanna around your neck, allowing the bandanna's corners to hang in front of your chest. Tie a knot in the back of your neck to keep the bandanna secure. Draw a fake moustache and stubble on your face if you're a child or allow the facial hair to grow out if you're an adult male. Put on a soft brimmed hat to complete the costume.


Wear a canvas jacket over your shirt to enhance the appearance of the costume.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved cotton button shirt
  • Long-sleeved thermal shirt
  • Cotton vest
  • Denim trousers
  • Canvas work trousers
  • Brown leather belt
  • Cotton rope
  • Suspenders
  • Tube socks
  • Black boots
  • Bandanna
  • Floppy cowboy hat
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About the Author

Anya Meave is a freelance writer from San Diego, Calif. She began writing in 2009 for various websites. Majoring in telemedia, she has written scripts for student projects and has been chosen to submit a spec script for the 2011 Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship. Meave has an associate degree in photography from Southwestern College.