Colonial

Life was very difficult for the original settlers of America. People had large families and usually spun, knitted and sewed their own clothing from sheep wool, which they often raised themselves. The first colonists were sent from Brittan, Spain, France and other countries but eventually England fought for and gained control of the colonization of America. Investors from England sent explorers, appointed governors and sent freemen, slaves, indentured slaves, traders, craftsmen, farmers or yeomans, and sometimes their families and others who were needed to make up a settlement that could produce a profit for the financier of the colony and/or their country of origin. Clothing was crude and basic. Most people had only two sets of clothing for work and one for church or other special occasions. Men wore tricorns or wigs, blousy large shirts with ruffled collars and sleeves, waist coats and cloaks, knee breeches, wool stockings and leather shoes that usually buckled. Women wore wigs, mob or mop hats with ruffles, long dresses with corsets and farthingales or hoop skirts, cloaks and slippers or boots. People dressed differently according to their social status. The wealthy could afford imported or fancy fabrics for their clothing such as satin, silk, brocades, fine wools, lace and more. Sometimes they wore imported fashions, fancy shoes, hats, boots, coats, and cloaks, etc. Others dressed according to their ethnic, religious, political, occupational, military or other status. There were also the Native Americans, Puritans, Pilgrims, blacksmiths, fur traders, explorers, Continental soldiers, elected officials, socialites, etc.

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