Clothing Guidelines for Reenactors


Introduction

Thank you for your interest in participating in the annual reenactment of General Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River. What started out as a theatrical presentation in 1953 has taken many forms over the years, from imitating the Emanuel Leutze painting to presenting an interpretation that is as historically correct as possible.

During our two crossing events in December, we host over 18,000 visitors from around the world. They rightly expect us to present an event that is educational, exciting, and as accurate to the historical record as possible. Of course, this goal can’t be accomplished without your interest and cooperation.

By providing the following clothing and equipment guidelines, we hope to give every participant time to prepare for the crossing reenactments and present an interpretation that meets the high standards that our park visitors deserve.

In presenting these guidelines, we’d like to remind everyone of the state of the Continental Army in December 1776. With very few exceptions (medical staff, artillery and mounted dragoons), everyone was an infantry soldier. If you were a fisherman, lawyer, shopkeeper, tailor or butcher in early 1775, those days were long behind you. Citizens were uniformed and outfitted by their states and became combat veterans very quickly.

By December 1776, many had over a year’s worth of service fighting British regulars. Following their participation in the Battle of New York, they had retreated from Manhattan Island, marched through the Jerseys, and crossed into Pennsylvania. Over 5,000 troops from Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania; set up camp; and waited to be part of Washington’s next move. Clothing showed the wear, and much was discarded or lost.

Please take the time to read the recommendations contained in the following sections. The Friends of Washington Crossing Park reserves the right to prevent participation in the event if staff deems that the reenactor does not meet the minimum clothing standard. Questions can be directed to info@washingtoncrossingpark.org.

General Guidelines (Required of All Reenactors)

In order to create the best impression possible, attention to detail is strongly encouraged. The best impressions are those that are the most period accurate. These clothing guidelines include four levels: BestAcceptable, Undesirable and Unacceptable.  Some levels are not used in every subsection. All details included in the Undesirable level will be moved to the Unacceptable level within a few years to allow current participants the opportunity to make or acquire new items.

Families are also encouraged to participate, even though they would not have been present at the Crossing in 1776. For this reason, clothing guidelines are included for women and children.

No anachronisms such as cameras, cell phones, cigarettes, plastic items, wrist watches, modern jewelry, etc. will be used in sight of any visitor during the hours of the event. Non-period eyeglasses are permitted if absolutely necessary for walking around. Period sunglasses only are allowed.

For safety and authenticity purposes, all clothing must be of natural fibers such as wool, linen or cotton. Polyester, nylon, Velcro, or other synthetic fabric may not be worn. Any modern accoutrements or any other paraphernalia not authentic to the period may not be visible to the public.

Participants are strongly requested to interact with visitors, have pictures taken and talk to individuals. As a result, all participants are strongly encouraged to improve their impression to the “Best” level in order to give a more authentic experience to public.

Officers

Please inquire about the details for officers’ uniforms. A limited number of reenactors are allowed to participate as officers.

Enlisted Soldiers

In general, follow the guidelines for the unit to which you belong, if you are a member of a reenacting unit.

It is imperative that all participants for the Crossing remember that they are recreating the Main Continental Army under General George Washington in December 1776, thirty miles north of Philadelphia.

Those portraying soldiers are representing men coming from the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The majority of these men had served in the army for at least one year and many of them for two at this point in the war. Given their duration of service, these men had become veteran and professional soldiers. All participants should conduct themselves as such.

Moreover, much of the army had been encamped in the area surrounding Newtown, Pennsylvania, for a few weeks prior to the Crossing. They were relatively well supplied, rested, and fed. The sick and wounded had been moved away from the Main Army and to general military hospitals deeper in the Pennsylvania hinterland.  The remainder of the army arrived approximately one week before the Crossing and would have been resupplied with blankets and some clothing.

General Appearance

  • Participants should avoid the temptation to wear bandages, with dried “blood,” upon their person. Bandages would have been changed, or if still seeping, the soldier would be confined to hospital.
  • While clothing should not look brand new, it should also not be in tatters. Participants should look clean and as well kept as possible with clothing fitted properly. Some soldiers received new clothing during December 1776, while others were still wearing their one- or two-year-old clothing.
  • All soldiers should be relatively clean shaven with no more than three days growth of facial hair.

The basic uniform and equipment for an enlisted soldier at this event should be as outlined below.

Shirts

  • BestHand-stitched shirts made of checked, striped, or white linen with narrow band cuffs and thread Dorset buttons or made for sleeve buttons (cuff links)
  • Acceptable: Machine sewn shirts, or with visible stitching done by hand, with pewter, bone, or wooden buttons
  • Unacceptable: Cotton calico or plaid shirts

Neckwear

  • BestSilk, linen, or cotton neckerchiefs; linen neck stocks, or linen rollers, well-tied around the neck. Military style horsehair or leather neck stocks, with or without buckles
  • Unacceptable: No neckwear

Hats and Caps

  • BestHand-finished, round blocked, black wool round hats, or cocked hats of a military or civilian style
  • AcceptableKnit wool Monmouth, oval blocked, and wool felt cocked or round hats
  • UnacceptableGray or brown wool felt hats, cut down felt caps, slouch hats from unfinished blanks, straw hats

Coats

Civilian coats, regimental coats, and hunting shirts are all equally good for a regular military impression.

  • Best: Contract-made regimental short-coats, made with slanted vertical pockets, pointed cuffs, stitched-down or functional lapels of broadcloth or kersey, made half-lined (in facing-colored serge, bay, or flannel) or unlined; Osnaburg/linen, split-front hunting shirts, with short capes and fringe; hand-finished, well-fit, wool broadcloth short or long coats of drab, brown, red, or blue, made either straight-bodied or cutaway
  • Acceptable: Long tailed regimental coats, made of wool, in various color combinations
  • Unacceptable: Smocks, over-shirts, baggy coats, cotton hunting shirts, very long hunting shirts

Jackets and Waistcoats

  • BestHand-finished, well-fit, single or double breasted, skirted or square cut, waistcoats with or without sleeves made of drab, brown, green, red or blue broadcloth, kersey, or serge
  • Acceptable: Well-fit, single or double breasted, skirted or square cut waistcoats of linen, linsey-woolsey, cotton, cotton velvet, or wool plush in solid colors or simple patterns. Sleeved waistcoats are acceptable as the primary outer garment.
  • Unacceptable: Upholstery fabric waistcoats, velvet or plush fabrics, extremely long or baggy waistcoats

Breeches and Trousers

  • BestHand-finished, well-fit, trousers of linen or hemp canvas or checked linen
  • Acceptable: Well-fit leather breeches, breeches with buckled knee bands in black, brown, drab, kersey, linsey-woolsey, serge, cotton velvet, wool plush, broadcloth
  • UnacceptableBaggy breeches

Leg wear

  • BestJust stockings or well-fit, hand-finished spatterdashes or half-gaiters of black, brown, or drab wool, canvas or black leather
  • UndesirableSpatterdashes worn with trousers.
  • Unacceptable: Military gaiters, Indian leggings, baggy spatterdashes

Socks and Stockings

  • BestWhite or gray wool yarn or worsted stockings or socks seamed with back seams, held with garters
  • AcceptableNo socks worn with trousers; cotton stockings; any other color stockings
  • Unacceptable: No horizontal striped stockings; visible elastic tops; polyester stockings

Shoes

It is well-documented that shoes were in short supply, and largely worn out.  Wearing well-worn shoes is strongly recommended, as is wrapping sturdy, period appropriate cloth around shoes.  Care should be taken to ensure that the wearer’s footing is stable and not subject to slipping.

  • BestHand-finished, short or long-quartered, round-toe, shoes with black waxed calf uppers, fitted for buckles. Shoe boots, half-boots high-lows, with black waxed-calf uppers.
  • AcceptableMachine-made, black leather shoes with buckles or ties or high-lows.  Modern black leather shoes are acceptable when covered with cloth rags.
  • UndesirableMoccasins, half-boots worn with trousers.
  • Unacceptable: Visible modern footwear including tan work boots and sneakers, modern moccasins, civil war bootees, or riding boots (except for field officers). Burlap covering for shoes.

Arms

  • Best: Old pattern Dutch, French, British, commercial or American made muskets; Virginia or Pennsylvania styled long rifles (riflemen only)
  • Acceptable: New England style fowlers, English fowlers, either plain or modified for a bayonet
  • Undesirable: Later French model muskets (1770s models) and carbines
  • Unacceptable: Blunderbusses or Civil War weapons of any sort

Cartridge Pouches

  • BestSoft cartridge pouches black or fair leather with approximately 19 – 24 round cartridge blocks, narrow black or buff leather straps, or linen webbing shoulder straps
  • AcceptableSmall leather shot pouches
  • Undesirable: Belly boxes or shoulder converted belly boxes
  • Unacceptable British 36 or 29-hole cartridge pouches, New Model American pouches, any Civil War cartridge pouches

Side Arms

  • Best: Waist or shoulder belt carried bayonet
  • AcceptableSmall sheathed axes carried in a knapsack or in a belt
  • UnacceptableHorse pistols, naval pistols, fighting knives, unsheathed tomahawks, or belt axes. Unsheathed blades of any kind are forbidden.

Knapsacks and Tumplines

  • BestPainted canvas Benjamin Warner or similar pattern knapsacks. No knapsack, as this was an army on the march to battle.
  • AcceptablePlain single envelope knapsacks, drawstring canvas snapsacks, or hemp tumplines blanket rolls
  • UnacceptableBritish painted or goatskin knapsacks

Blankets

  • Best2-3 Point, checked, Dutch, or rose blankets with the blanket worn over clothing as protection from the weather
  • Acceptable: No blanket
  • UnacceptableCivil War gray blankets, “Candy Striped” Hudson Bay blankets, or slung rolled blankets

Canteens

  • Best: Wood cheese box, or staved canteens of documented period pattern with narrow leather or linen webbing strap. Cheese box canteens should have narrow leather keepers or narrow iron staples to retain the strap.
  • AcceptableTin canteens of kidney or half-moon shape. Also wool canteen covers, jacked leather canteens, covered glass bottles, copper canteens, stainless steel canteens, gourd canteens, and Petite Bidon

Boat Crew

The majority of the men who rowed the boats across the Delaware were led by Colonel John Glover and his Marblehead Regiment. Many members of Moulder’s Artillery were pressed into service as boat crew, since they were experienced rivermen themselves. Local civilian ferrymen and boatmen were also recruited to this task. As with other roles, there is no standard clothing that all boat crew should wear. Ideally, many different impressions will be employed by boat crew members, reflecting the diversity of dress in December 1776.

Clothing worn by members of the Glover’s Marblehead Regiment should be in well-used or poor condition, reflecting the service from 1775 until December 1776, marching from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.

Coat or Jacket

Marbleheaders would wear the round blue coat currently used, a hunting shirt or Contract coat in brown with red facings. Moulder’s Artillery, of the Philadelphia Associators, also worked as crew on these boats. Brown contract coats are appropriate for this impression. Some civilians also worked as boat crew, so civilian attire is also appropriate. Please see Soldier section for more details.

  • Best: Hand stitched Contract Coat, Blue short jacket with leather covered buttons; Hand stitched hunting shirt or civilian coat Note: no waistcoat is worn with blue short jacket.
  • Acceptable: Townsend blue short jacket; hunting shirt; civilian attire
  • Unacceptable: Any other period than Revolutionary War (War of 1812, Civil War or other Navy uniform coats)

Trousers or Breeches

Trousers or breeches as detailed in Soldier description

  • Best: No slops to be worn
  • Unacceptable: Any slops worn

Waistcoat  

Worn only with Contract Coat or hunting frock. See details in Soldier description

Shirt  

See details in Soldier description

Shoes  

See details in Soldier description

Stockings  

See details in Soldier description

Headwear  

See details in Soldier description

There is little, if any, documentation for a tar covered canvas hat in the 18th century, even on board ships. The use of a knit “Liberty” cap has been documented in the symbolism of 18th century revolutions, both American and French. Paul Revere used a Liberty cap in his engravings and designs, likely inspired by William Hogarth. The style depicted varied over time: a round cap, peaked cap or the “Phrygian” cap, with the long, flipped over tip, were all used in images. However, the cap is always depicted on the end of a staff.

Don Troiani depicts the use of red knit caps of various styles in his painting “Bunker Hill.” The word “Liberty” is omitted from the hats.

  • Best: Cocked hat or knit cap, either Monmouth (round, with brim) or Liberty “Phrygian” cap. Knit scarves can be tied over the cocked hat.
  • Acceptable: Any color wool knit cap in the style above
  • Undesirable: Red hats with Liberty stenciled on the front were unlikely to have been used in December 1776. Pompom or anything else attached to the top of hat Red “Voyager” caps or other long stocking caps. Note: Red hats currently used by boat crew are generally the Voyager style and should be replaced.

Women & Children

Fashions in Bucks County Pennsylvania in the 1770s followed a variety of styles not generally found outside the Mid-Atlantic colonies. This allows for a wider choice of clothing for women attending the first crossing reenactment and the Christmas Day reenactment. It is important to keep in mind, however, that at the time the crossing took place, the only building that existed was the McConkey Ferry House. Also consider that with the timing of the crossing and the weather, it is highly unlikely that women would have been present.

With these caveats in mind, women living in the vicinity or those traveling with the Continental Army would have done their best to wear clean, well-kept, and to some degree fashionable clothing. Unlike women in other localities or those following the army, those living in Bucks County in the vicinity of Washington Crossing would have had access to consumer goods and supplies brought up the river from Philadelphia. Ethnic diversion in clothing not found in New England or Southern Colonies include the Pennsylvania Dutch and Quaker influences. A good, easily-accessible book on the subject of local clothing styles is Sharon Burnston’s Fitting and Proper. It should be noted, however, that there are both 18th and 19th century fashions represented in her book.

A woman’s basic wardrobe suitable for both the first crossing and Christmas Day should include the following items.

Shift

A shift is the foundation garment worn next to a woman’s body to protect her more expensive clothing from bodily soil.

  • Best:  Hand-stitched in white linen or white wool flannel with sleeves gathered into narrow cuffs at the elbows. Cuffs should close with sleeve buttons (links), or ties threaded through buttonholes. Neckline should be large enough that the shift barely shows when worn with a gown or jacket.  Natural linen is acceptable for the shift sleeves.
  • Acceptable: Machine-stitched, hand-finished where the shift will show, in white linen, flannel, or cotton with elbow length sleeves. Natural colored linen is acceptable for the shift sleeves.  Gathered neckline that does not show above a gown or jacket. Neck or sleeve ruffles wider than 1 ¼ inches.  Drawstring sleeves which will not show below the sleeves of a gown or jacket. Natural colored linen is acceptable for the shift sleeves.
  • Undesirable: Sleeves longer than elbow length or which show below the sleeves of a gown or jacket. Obvious visible machine sewing. Gathered neckline which shows above the gown or jacket. Neck or sleeve ruffles wider than 1 ¼ inches. No lace at the neckline or cuffs.
  • Unacceptable: Fabric that is obviously polyester or polyester blend. Colored fabric other than natural linen.

Stays

The support garment worn over stays but beneath a gown or jacket. In the context of the crossing, stays would not be worn without an additional covering garment such as a gown or jacket to cover. Because the stays will not be visible, the method of construction and fabric choices is of secondary importance. Regardless of construction and fabric, stays should be worn that will create a smooth conical torso which is a proper 1770s silhouette. For the most accurate look, stays should be back lacing.

  • Best: Hand sewn back lacing stays, creating a conical torso and worn under a gown or jacket.
  • AcceptableMachine-sewn stays which give the wearer a proper silhouette. Partially boned stays.  Front, or front and back, lacing stays provided they give the wearer a proper silhouette. Not wearing stays is acceptable when the woman is wearing a bedgown or similarly un-structured garment. An unstructured garment is loosely defined as one made with sleeves that are not set into an armscye. This choice of impression or clothing is acceptable only for women interpreting serious manual labor such as cooking or nursing.
  • Unacceptable:  Unboned bodices worn as an inner or outer garment.  These garments are often referred to as French bodices and are front laced with ribbon. Unboned bodices are not acceptable even if concealed beneath an outer garment such as a cloak.

Upper Body Garment

Gown or jacket worn over stays which are worn over a shift (see above).

  • Best: Hand-sewn, stomacher-fronted or center-front closing English style gown in worsted wool, stuff, or linen. Printed cotton is acceptable based on the prevailing weather of the day. Printed cottons must be well-documented to the period and Mid-Atlantic region. Solid colored textiles are preferable although woven stripes and checks are acceptable. Although gowns are the most common wardrobe choice for Anglo-American women in the 1770s, other choices are acceptable. These garments include: bedgowns, shortgowns, jackets, and even traveling suits (which are more commonly referred to as Riding Habits within the reenacting community). Textile choices for these garments are the same as those listed above for gowns.
  • Acceptable: Hand-finished (partially machine sewn) gown, fitted jacket, bedgown, or shortgown. Textile choices as in Best above. Upper body garments, as listed above, that are not obviously fully machine sewn.
  • Undesirable: Garments made of printed cottons with designs not documented to the period, such as modern calicos, large scale upholstery prints and cabbage roses. No textiles with printed striped or checked patterns.
  • Unacceptable:  Sleeveless bodices. Fitted garments such as gowns or jackets worn without stays.

Petticoats

Lower body garments worn over undergarments but beneath the upper body garments listed above.

  • Best: Two to four hand-sewn petticoats; striped, or matching a gown or jacket. Petticoats can be made of worsted, flannel, linsey-woolsey, serge, or linen. Quilted petticoats are also extremely common. Length should be between low-calf and ankle. (Petticoat length varies to some extent – generally shorter petticoats are more suited to physical labor.) Circumference should be 2.5 to 3 yards. Petticoats should be pleated to waistbands and have pocket slits at the sides. Hems should be small. Alternately, the bottom edge can be bound with wool tape. Under petticoats can be shorter, or less decorative, as their function is to provide warmth and fill out the silhouette.
  • Acceptable: Two or more petticoats of the proper length
  • Undesirable: Petticoats without sufficient fullness
  • Unacceptable: Modern skirts; petticoats shorter than mid-calf

Pockets

Pockets are personal utilitarian garments and were not meant to be worn outside of a gown or petticoats. They were used to store and carry most of a woman’s personal items and would have been supplemented by a market wallet. Pockets worn as they should be can be made from modern fabrics, embroidered or made from flame stitch.

Apron

Best: Hand-sewn, white or checked. Most aprons are linen or wool for work. Aprons should be long enough to cover a majority of the petticoat and gown skirts. It should be at least a yard in width and gathered to a narrow tape waistband.

  • Acceptable: Machine-sewn, pleated to a waistband made of other than tape
  • Undesirable: Very short or very narrow aprons. Wildly colored or printed cottons/fabrics. Aprons longer than the skirts of the gown or longer than the petticoat being worn.
  • Unacceptable: Decorative aprons with ruffles or those made of embroidered fine cotton should not be worn when portraying a camp follower or lower sort.

Neck Handkerchief

Frequently misidentified as a Fichu or Modesty Piece, neck handkerchiefs can vary widely in fabric composition and design. What is most important is the shape and style of wear. The most common shape for this time period is triangular, either cut in a triangle or a square folded into a triangle.

  • Best: The neck handkerchief must be large enough to be draped around the shoulders and cover the bosom. It can be worn under the neckline of the gown or jacket or pinned down to the outside. In both cases, the point in back should be worn on the outside. Linen, linsey-woolsey, wool, silk and cotton are all documented textiles for neck handkerchiefs. White and off-white are the most common colors. Colored neck handkerchiefs are permissible as are block-printed cotton, and woven checks.
  • Unacceptable: Neck handkerchiefs worn improperly in such a fashion as to expose the wearer’s cleavage or bosom. Knitted or crocheted shawls or wool, silk, cotton, acrylic, or rayon yarn are not to be worn. Modern textiles or printed stripes or checkered patterns are not allowed.

Hair

Natural hair colors are preferable. If you color your hair in such a way that the effect is obvious, for example colors such as pink and blue or high contrast streaks, you must be able to disguise or cover it in such a way that it will not show.

  • Best: In the 1770s, most of the volume was worn on the top or crown of the head but not the back. The wearer’s hair should show above the forehead below the cap with some height or volume being acceptable. Dressing hair with pomade and a liberal application of powder is encouraged. Unlike other details of a woman’s garb or appearance, even women camp followers or those of a lower sort would have attempted to follow the high fashion for large, tall hair common in the 1770s. The use of hair pads or rats to add volume is acceptable provided these additions are fully covered by one’s own hair.
  • Acceptable: At a bare minimum, hair should be put up fully under a cap with no wisps or bangs.
  • Undesirable: Hair should not be worn in a bun at the back of the head or nape of the neck. Hair worn down, loose flowing, or left completely undressed is also not appropriate. The wearing of modern bangs or fringe is not acceptable.
  • Unacceptable: Wearing hair in large, fashionable styles is not appropriate to the circumstances and conditions being interpreted at the Crossing even in the case of interpreting an officer’s wife. Wiglets or any enhancements to one’s natural hair for the purposes of adding volume which are visible or not fully covered by a cap are not acceptable. High style or wigs embellished with flowers, ribbons, or pearls are not acceptable.

Cap

Fabric head covering used to cover the hair. This is a required article of clothing, as women in the 18th century did not go out into public under the conditions and circumstances found in December 1776 without a cap covering their hair.

  • Best: The best caps are ones chosen from the wide variety of styles common to the third quarter of the 18th century which will provide the proper silhouette with some height and width.   Caps should be hand-sewn out of fine white linen or fine cotton such as lawn, mull, or organdy. Caps made from floppy fabrics should be starched to stiffen the caul and especially the ruffles.  Caps may be trimmed with silk ribbon. Most cap styles have a gathered or pleated ruffle which frames but does not obscure the face or interfere with the wearer’s line of vision. Caps which tie under the chin are also appropriate and may be a good choice depending on the weather conditions at the Crossing events.  It can be very windy and cold along the banks of the Delaware in December.
  • Undesirable: Caps with ruffles trimmed in lace wider than ¼ of an inch
  • Unacceptable: The following caps and cap styles, are unacceptable: Mob or Mop caps, circular caps consisting of one piece of material gathered to create both caul and ruffle; caps with ruffles made entirely of lace or with ruffles trimmed in lace wider than ¼ of an inch; pinner caps consisting or a small circle or oval of fabric, often trimmed with long lappets or streamers of ribbon, fabric or lace and pinned to dressed or undressed hair; any cap worn in such a way as to cover the wearer’s forehead; not wearing any cap at all

Hat/Head Covering

Hats or bonnets are worn over the cap, almost never without a cap. Images depicting women of all sorts or levels of society in winter also show a variety of hoods, either attached to cloaks, or separate.

  • Best: Flat, shallow flat-crowned hats made of  plain straw, wool or animal felt, or straw covered with silk fabric with a diameter no more than 18”. Colors for wool felt must be natural hues in imitation of what would have been available in animals pelts, for example black or brown. Black silk bonnets, commonly referred to as Market Bonnets or Haymakers, with a wide flat brim comprised of card stock covered with silk attached to a gathered crown or caul are appropriate. Note that these hats and/or bonnets are worn over a cap and only rarely without a cap. In foul or windy weather, women following the army or of lower and middling sorts may also have worn their hats held on their heads with a kerchief, in a pattern or design referenced above under neck handkerchiefs. The same classes of women may also have worn a man’s hat although not a cocked hat or any hat with military lace or cockades.
  • Undesirable: Wearing any hat without a cap underneath
  • Unacceptable: Hats tied down with ribbons on the outside of the crown to form an exaggerated scoop silhouette that obstructs the wearer’s line of vision. Straw or wool felt hats with rounded or domed modern crowns or any hat with military lace or cockades.

Jewelry

  • Best: No jewelry, outside of officers’ wives impressions. Officers’ wives must wear jewelry appropriate for day wear for the 1770s. This means no elaborate paste (rhinestone) necklaces, earrings, pins, or hair ornaments.
  • Acceptable: Small period earrings. Unobtrusive studs in any visible piercings not in the earlobe.
  • Unacceptable: Obvious modern jewelry, especially in any non-earlobe piercings.  This includes ear gauges, industrial piercings, and other visible non-earlobe piercings.  Modern jewelry includes anything after the third quarter of the 18th century such as cameos, pendants hung from gold or silver chains, and festoon type necklaces.

Stockings

  • Best: White, blue, or natural wool yarn or worsted stockings with back seams, ending above the knee. Stockings should be held up with leather buckled garters or cloth tape garters tied above or below the knee.
  • Acceptable: White, natural, or colored stockings of wool yarn, worsted, linen or cotton and held up as above
  • Undesirable: Stockings with decorative “clocks,” while worn in the period, are not recommended.
  • Unacceptable: Striped stockings, polyester stockings, athletic socks, modern tights

Shoes

  • Best: Reproduction black, brown or red leather heeled shoes with buckles; low-heeled shoes with buckles; mules; or reproduction fabric shoes of worsted or another durable textile
  • Unacceptable: Obviously modern shoes, sneakers or Ugg boots.

Outerwear

  • Best: Wool cloak, most commonly red, with tie closure and appropriate fullness. Hems fall between mid-hip and mid-calf. Wool, silk, linen, or leather mitts for forearms.
  • Acceptable: A silk cloak of the same design as above. A Match Coat or a wool blanket or length of fabric worn and pinned in place as a cloak is also acceptable. Pins are not decorative or to give the appearance of a metal clasp.
  • Unacceptable: Celtic-style or cosplay cloaks. Cloaks closing with decorative metal clasps.

Personal Items

  • Best: Items stowed in pockets worn under a gown or petticoat and not visible. Market wallets and appropriate baskets such as a frail with a period appropriate cloth covering can be used to store modern items.
  • Unacceptable: Haversacks (for the near exclusive use of the military and were issued daily with food rations). Modern baskets are also not acceptable.

Children

Infants through toddlers

  • Best: Shirt or shift, and cap, of linen, cotton, or wool, in white. For toddlers, a frock with petticoat and shoes and stockings are preferred. If plastic diapers are used, cover with a cloth
  • Acceptable: No frock, petticoat, shoes or stockings
  • Undesired: Camp followers in period clothing with children in modern dress
  • Unacceptable:  Visible plastic diapers

Young children

Unbreeched boys from toddlers through age 7 and girls from toddlers through early puberty

  • Best: Shift of linen, cotton, or wool, in white or natural with a child’s frock (back closing for either gender or front closing for boys only) and petticoat. Cap for girls; Workman’s cap or uncocked or single cocked hat for boys. Stockings – See details in Camp follower description period-style shoes; due to the expense of children’s shoes, any black or brown leather lace-up modern shoes are also acceptable.
  • Acceptable: Shoes and stockings are optional but strongly recommended. It is also permissible for small children to wear pants or other modern clothing under the shift, as long as the modern clothes are not visible.
  • Unacceptable: Sneakers

Juveniles

Older children and preteens should dress as described in the adult sections.