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Clothing Guidelines for Before the Siege

Attempting to document in detail every gradation of clothing from Lord to laborer is beyond the scope of these guidelines. We hope that the participant or visitor who chooses to dress in period clothing is mindful of the character, time, and place of who they are trying to represent.

The time is late September of 1781. The place is York Town, Virginia - which has been under occupation by Cornwallis and his army for the better part of seven weeks. The civilians in Yorktown are those attached to and traveling with the army; teamsters, laborers, scouts, artificers, wives and children of the soldiers, as well as merchants, sutlers, vendors, the few residents of the town who decided not to leave, escaped slaves, and refugees.

Men's Clothing Guidelines for Before the Siege

Headwear - Preferred

Hats

A cocked hat, round hat, or slouch hat appropriate to your character and station in life; hat body made from wool, or fur felt, blocked on a round block, with leaves, gutters, ties, and trim (or not) according to your persona's personal taste and budget; all hand sewn with natural materials such as linen or silk thread, ties made of wool, mohair, linen, or silk, linen or leather lining, binding (if any) of wool, mohair, linen, or silk, cockade (if any) of silk, linen, or horsehair, wool or linen hat cord (if any), and all metallic trim (if any) done with real metal lace, cord, or braid - not coated mylar.

Caps, made of felt, wool or linen cloth, or knit wool, hand made using period materials and techniques, documented to the 1770s, and appropriate to your character and station in life.

Headwear - Acceptable

Hats

A cocked hat, round hat, or slouch hat appropriate to your character and station in life; hat body made from wool, or fur felt, blocked on an oval block, with leaves, gutters, ties, and trim (or not) according to your persona's personal taste and budget; with concealed machine stitching with polyester, or cotton wrapped polyester thread, ties made of cotton tape or cord, cotton hat cord (if any), and all metallic trim (if any) done with coated mylar.

Caps, made of felt, wool or linen cloth, or knit wool, hand made or with concealed machine stitching, using period materials and techniques, documented to the 1770s, and appropriate to your character and station in life.

Headwear - Strongly discouraged

Hats

A cocked hat, round hat, or slouch hat inappropriate to your character and station in life; hat body made from wool, fur felt, or straw, blocked on an oval block, with leaves, gutters, ties, and trim (or not) according to your persona's personal taste and budget; with visible machine stitching with polyester, or cotton wrapped polyester thread, ties made of cotton tape or cord, cotton hat cord (if any), and all metallic trim (if any) done with coated mylar.

Caps, made of felt, wool or linen cloth, or knit wool, hand made or with visible machine stitching, using period materials and techniques, not documented to the 1770s, and inappropriate to your character and station in life.

Headwear - Not Acceptable

Hats

Unfinished hat blank worn as a “hat”. ACW or other 19th C. straw hat. Military forage or cut down felt caps.

Coats and Jackets - Preferred

Frock coats can be full or shortened length, gracefully cut away, with moderate side pleats, a minimal rear pleat (if any) a falling or small standing cape, fitted sleeves with a close fitting turned cuff, slashed cuff, or flapped cuff. In Virginia the wools of more Northern climes yielded to practical linens and silks, and some clothing might be more loosely fitted than their Northern counterparts to allow for air circulation in the muggy conditions of Tidewater Virginia. Even so, the neckline should not fall below the collar bone, the sleeves should be cut to the bend of the arm and not be baggy. For the well-to-do at Yorktown simpler is better. Plain colors available from natural dyes are best. The occupation of Yorktown is no holiday - save your brocade, embroidered, and damask finery for that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Coats should be completely hand sewn, including all buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings. Coats in the South were typically unlined or only partially lined - that means that all the interior seams need to be hand finished as well.

Jackets can be short or even waist length, single or double breasted, lined or un lined. They need to be made of natural fibers such as hemp, linen, or wool, dyed with natural dyes. They should be completely hand sewn, including all buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings.

Coats and Jackets - Acceptable

Frock coats can be full or shortened length, gracefully cut away, with moderate side pleats, a minimal rear pleat (if any) a falling or small standing cape, fitted sleeves with a close fitting turned cuff, slashed cuff, or flapped cuff. In Virginia the wools of more Northern climes yielded to practical linens and silks, and some clothing might be more loosely fitted than their Northern counterparts to allow for air circulation in the muggy conditions of Tidewater Virginia. Even so, the neckline should not fall below the collar bone, the sleeves should be cut to the bend of the arm and not be baggy. For the well-to-do at Yorktown simpler is better. Plain colors available from natural dyes are best. The occupation of Yorktown is no holiday - save your brocade, embroidered, and damask finery for that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Coats may use concealed machine stitching. All buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings must be by hand. Coats in the South were typically unlined or only partially lined - that means that all the interior seams need to be finished as well.

Jackets can be short or even waist length, single or double breasted, lined or un lined. They need to be made of natural fibers, hemp, linen, or wool, dyed with natural dyes. They may use concealed machine stitching, but all buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings must be hand sewn.

Coats and Jackets - Strongly Discouraged

Frock coats of a full or shortened length, artlessly cut away, with a scoop neck, large side pleats, a minimal rear pleat (if any) a falling or small standing cape, casually fitted sleeves with a baggy turned cuff, slashed cuff, or flapped cuff. The neckline falls well below the collar bone, the sleeves not cut to the bend of the arm and baggy. Brocade, embroidered, and damask fabrics. Visible machine stitching.

Jackets, short or waist length, single or double breasted, baggy fit, lined or un-lined. Made of natural and blended artificial fibers, hemp, linen, wool, dyed with chemical dyes, with visible machine stitching.

Coats and Jackets - Not Acceptable

Completely machine sewn thigh length un-fitted off the rack straight front coat made of poly cotton twill or canvas. Coats with very full side pleats, full sleeves, deep cuffs.

Shirts - Preferred

A shirt, hand sewn, of 8 to 10 ounce per yard white linen, made to a third quarter of the 18th Century pattern; with cuff bands no wider than one inch. The collar should be fitted to lie smoothly around the neck when buttoned, the shirt body should come down to mid-thigh. Shirts may have neck and cuff ruffles. The neck fastened with thread buttons, the cuffs fastened with thread buttons, thread sleeve links, or metal sleeve links. Shirts may also be made of checked linen. The checks must be of a size and pattern documentable to the 1760s - 1770s.

Shirts - Acceptable

A shirt, machine sewn with hand sewn finishing details, of 8 to 10 ounce per yard white linen, made to a third quarter of the 18th Century pattern; with cuff bands no wider than one inch. The collar should be fitted to lie smoothly around the neck when buttoned, the shirt body should come down to mid-thigh. Shirts may have neck and cuff ruffles. The neck fastened with thread buttons, the cuffs fastened with thread buttons, thread sleeve links, or metal sleeve links. Shirts may also be made of checked linen. The checks must be of a size and pattern documentable to the 1760s - 1770s.

Shirts - Strongly Discouraged

A shirt, machine sewn out of white linen or linen blend, made to a third quarter of the 18th Century pattern; with cuff bands wider than one inch. The collar too large around the neck when buttoned, the shirt body only comes down to crotch.

Shirts - Not Acceptable

A shirt, machine sewn out of cotton muslin or colored poly cotton blend. "Pirate" shirt with lacing at the neck slit. ACW shirt with step back collar and wide cuffs.

Neckwear - Preferred

Men must wear some manner of neckwear appropriate to their character and station in life, such as: pleated linen neckstocks, linen rollers, plain or print kerchiefs. Printed kerchiefs must be made of natural material and of a documented 18th Century style, color, and pattern. Neckstocks must be hand sewn, rollers and kerchiefs must have their edges hand finished.

Neckwear - Acceptable

Men must wear some manner of neckwear appropriate to their character and station in life, such as: pleated linen neckstocks, linen rollers, plain or print kerchiefs. Printed kerchiefs must be made of natural material and be of a documented 18th Century style, color, and pattern. Neckstocks must be hand finished, but may have concealed machine sewing. Rollers and kerchiefs must have their edges hand finished.

Neckwear - Strongly Discouraged

Neckstocks visibly machine sewn. Rollers and kerchiefs with machine sewn edges.

Neckwear - Not Acceptable

No neckwear with open necked shirt. A neckstock, kerchief, or roller must be worn even under heavy labor. Frilled lacy Jabot and stock. Modern cotton Bandanna print kerchief.

Waistcoats - Preferred

Waistcoats can be single or double breasted, made of wool, silk, linen, or hemp, cut with skirts that go no lower than the crotch. Unless it is square cut it should be long enough that the skirts cover the bottom point of the breeches plaquet or trowser fall opening. The neckline of the waistcoat should come no lower than the collarbone. It should fit snugly without being constrictive. It should be hand sewn with linen or silk thread matched to the color of the fabric. They should be completely hand sewn, including all buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings. Waistcoats in the South were typically unlined or only partially lined - that means that all the interior seams need to be hand finished as well.

Waistcoats - Acceptable

Waistcoats can be single or double breasted, made of wool, silk, linen, or hemp, cut with skirts that go no lower than the crotch. Unless it is square cut it should be long enough that the skirts cover the bottom point of the breeches plaquet or trowser fall opening. The neckline of the waistcoat should come no lower than the collarbone. It should fit snugly without being constrictive. It may be machine sewn with polyester, or cotton wrapped polyester thread matched to the color of the fabric. All buttonholes, topstitching, interfacings, and bindings must be hand sewn. Waistcoats in the South were typically unlined or only partially lined - that means that all the interior seams need to be finished as well.

Waistcoats - Strongly Discouraged

Waistcoats cut with skirts that go longer than the crotch. Unless it is square cut it has skirts too short to cover the bottom point of the breeches plaquet or trowser fall opening. The neckline of the waistcoat comes lower than the collarbone. It does not fit snugly. It is visibly machine sewn with polyester, or cotton wrapped polyester thread not matched to the color of the fabric. Waistcoats in the South were typically unlined or only partially lined - interior seams unfinished? You'll be sorry.

Waistcoats - Not Acceptable

Waistcoats; un-fitted off the rack scoop neck thigh length completely machine sewn poly cotton twill or canvas.

Breeches & Trowsers - Preferred

Breeches should be made of wool, silk, linen, leather, or hemp, have a fall fly, sit low on the hips so that the waistband rests on the hip bone, be full in the seat and fitted on the leg, have either a button, buckle, or tie on the knee band, and be long enough that the knee band runs under the swell of bone at the top of the tibia.

Trowsers should be made of linen or hemp, have a fall fly, sit low on the hips so that the waistband rests on the hip bone, and not be too full in the seat. Trowsers may be checked or striped as well as plain.

Trowsers and breeches should be completely hand sewn, including all buttonholes and topstitching.

Breeches & Trowsers - Acceptable

Breeches should be made of wool, silk, linen, leather, or hemp, have a fall fly, sit low on the hips so that the waistband rests on the hip bone, be full in the seat and fitted on the leg, have either a button, buckle, or tie on the knee band, and be long enough that the knee band runs under the swell of bone at the top of the tibia.

Trowsers should be made of linen, or hemp, have a fall fly, sit low on the hips so that the waistband rests on the hip bone, and not be too full in the seat. Trowsers may be checked or striped as well as plain.

Trowsers and breeches may have concealed machine sewing, but all buttonholes and topstitching must be hand sewn.

Breeches & Trowsers - Strongly Discouraged

Breeches made of natural and artificial fiber blends, with very narrow or very wide fall fly, waist high, absurdly full in the seat and baggy on the legs. Has a knee band that rides under the patella or at the top of the calf. Garters worn over the breeches.

Trowsers made of natural and artificial fiber blends, with very narrow or very wide fall fly, waist high, absurdly full in the seat and baggy on the legs. Trowsers made with printed (not woven in) checked or striped fabric.

Trowsers and breeches with visible machine sewing.

Breeches & Trowsers - Not Acceptable

Breeches: baggy, unfitted off the rack completely machine sewn poly cotton twill or canvas.

Breeches that come down to mid calf. French button fly.

Trowsers machine sewn out of cotton duck or poly cotton blend canvas.

Stockings - Preferred

Hand knit rear seam or frame knit plain and/or clocked stockings, over the knee length, in wool, linen, or silk, in plain solid colors or vertical stripes.

Stockings - Acceptable

Machine knit plain and/or clocked stockings, over the knee length, in wool, linen, or silk, in plain solid colors or vertical stripes.

Stockings - Strongly Discouraged

Machine knit plain and/or clocked stockings, that are too short, with skin showing at the knee.

Stockings - Not Acceptable

Poly cotton athletic stockings. Stockings with horizontal stripes.

Footwear - Preferred

Shoes; straight last round toe (other toe shape appropriate to your character and station in life). Hand sewn with butted and round closed seams on vamps and heels. Colored or black leather. Flesh or hair side out. Buckled or tied. Polished or not.

Boots or Hi-lows if your persona could afford them. Boots should have no front seam. All hand sewn.

Footwear - Acceptable

Shoes; crooked last round toe (other toe shape appropriate to your character and station in life). Machine sewn. Colored or black leather. Flesh or hair side out. Buckled or tied. Polished or not.

Boots or Hi-lows if your persona could afford them. Boots may have a front seam.

Footwear - Strongly Discouraged

Modern shoes concealed under trowsers or gaiters. Period style shoes with rubber soles.

Modern riding boots.

Footwear - Not Acceptable

Combat boots. Sneakers. Blücher boots. ACW brogans.

Modern riding boots with slanted top edge and/or zippers.

Grooming - Preferred

Facial hair was highly uncommon. Men with facial hair were either completely destitute, utter eccentrics, devoutly religious, or detested foreigners. Unless your persona is one of these - shave.

Hairstyle appropriate to your character and station in life; plain, powdered, plaited, queued, curled, “short”. Avoid the teased and exaggerated Hogarthian hairstyles - save them for the Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to.

Grooming - Acceptable

Facial hair was highly uncommon. Men with facial hair were either completely destitute, utter eccentrics, devoutly religious, or detested foreigners. Unless your persona is one of these - shave. A fews days stubble is acceptable.

Hairstyle appropriate to your character and station in life; plain, powdered, plaited, queued, curled, “short”. Avoid the teased and exaggerated Hogarthian hairstyles - save them for the Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to.

Grooming - Strongly Discouraged

More than a fews days stubble.

Hairstyle inappropriate to your character and station in life. Teased and exaggerated Hogarthian extreme hairstyles.

Grooming - Not Acceptable

Unconcealed brightly colored dyed, spiked, faded, or buzz cut hair.

Pierced eyebrows, lips, nose. Post 18th C. style tattoos.

Eyewear - Preferred

No eyewear is by far the best choice. If you must wear eyeglasses 18th century styled original or reproduction circular frames with circle ended double hinged temples and a high arch to the bridge. Tinted lenses existed in period but they were associated with weak eyes due to damage from syphilis. Be careful what your eyewear says about you…

Eyewear - Acceptable

If you must wear eyeglasses 18th century styled reproduction circular or oval frames with circular or teardrop ended temples and/or a moderate arch to the bridge. Tinted lenses existed in period but they were associated with weak eyes due to damage from syphilis. Be careful what your eyewear says about you…

Eyewear - Strongly Discouraged

Wire framed rectangular or oval “Granny Glasses” with thin wire temples.

Eyewear - Not Acceptable

20th or 21st Century styled plastic or metal framed eyeglasses. Unnaturally colored contact lenses. Cateye contacts. (Would you even? I’d kind of like to see that before I ask you to take them out)

Accessories - Preferred

From a Gentleman’s stick, to a laborer's barrow : if you are carrying it, make sure it is appropriate to your character and station in life, and hand made out of period available materials to documented 18th Century patterns.

Accessories - Acceptable

From a Gentleman’s stick, to a laborer's barrow : if you are carrying it, make sure it is appropriate to your character and station in life. It may be machine made but hand finished out of period available materials to documented 18th Century patterns.

Accessories - Strongly Discouraged

If it isn’t 18th Century it is strongly discouraged.

Accessories - Not Acceptable

Visible wallet, keys, cell phone. Yes we can see that rectangular bulge in your pocket.

Jewelry - Preferred

If necessary, a plain and simple wedding band in white or yellow metal. Some men wore earrings; a plain and simple hoop in white or yellow metal.

Women's clothing Guidelines for Before the Siege

Headgear - Preferred

Hat

A low crowned wide brimmed women's style hat in felt (wool felt or wool and fur blends), straw, or chip. Sometimes chip or straw hats were covered in silk. Hat decorations (feathers, ribbons, flowers) appropriate to your character and station in life. Ribbons and silk flowers must be real silk, not artificial fiber. No pheasant feathers! All hand sewn.

Bonnet

A black silk bonnet was popular in place of a hat. Bonnets were not only black, they could be quite colorful and quite impractically elaborate and large for a woman enduring siege preparations at Yorktown. Choose wisely and for practicality. All hand sewn.

Cap

There are far too many styles of women's cap for these guidelines to single out which one would be appropriate to your character and station in life; suffice it to say that a woman's hair should be drawn up and mostly if not entirely concealed under a cap. Under dire personal circumstances a kerchief will do, but in any case no woman should be seen without at least a cap unless she is a grand lady featuring an elegant hairstyle which would be better saved for going to that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Such cap as you do wear should be completely hand sewn out of a lightweight white or off white natural material.

Headgear - Acceptable

Hat

A low crowned wide brimmed women's style hat in felt (wool felt or wool and fur blends), straw, or chip. Sometimes chip or straw hats were covered in silk. Hat decorations (feathers, ribbons, flowers) appropriate to your character and station in life. Ribbons and silk flowers must be real silk, not artificial fiber. No pheasant feathers! Hand finished with concealed machine stitching.

Bonnet

A black silk bonnet was popular in place of a hat. Bonnets were not only black, they could be quite colorful and quite impractically elaborate and large for a woman enduring siege preparations at Yorktown. Choose wisely and for practicality. Hand finished with concealed machine stitching.

Cap

There are far too many styles of women's cap for these guidelines to single out which one would be appropriate to your character and station in life; suffice it to say that a woman's hair should be drawn up and mostly if not entirely concealed under a cap. Under dire personal circumstances a kerchief will do, but in any case no woman should be seen without at least a cap unless she is a grand lady featuring an elegant hairstyle which would be better saved for going to that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get around to. Such cap as you do wear may be machine sewn but hand finished out of a lightweight white or off white natural material.

Headgear - Strongly Discouraged

Hat

Hat decorations (feathers, ribbons, flowers) inappropriate to your character and station in life. Too much is too much. Artificial fiber ribbons and flowers. Pheasant feathers! All machine stitching. Hats bent down at the sides into a deep tunnel. Hats bent high at the back into a fan.

Bonnet

A machine sewn bonnet with a slack and bubbly visor.

Cap

A fully machine sewn cap.

Headgear - Not Acceptable

Hat

A hat blank worn as a hat. A military hat, even as a “cast off”.

Bonnet

A baggy, shapeless machine sewn bonnet with a puffy and slack visor. A bonnet made of obviously artificial fiber.

Cap

A gathered circle “mob cap”. Caps made of artificial fiber, or of colored or printed cloth. Giant, oversized cap.

Gown - Preferred

The fashion for open fronted gowns with stomachers was fading by the early 1780s. Closed front gowns such as a nightgown or “robe à l'anglaise.” were becoming popular. Your gown should be made of wool (remember - you're in the South!), a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes. Save your brocade, embroidered, and damask finery with extensive petticoats, side hips, or hooping for that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Your gown should be completely hand sewn with natural fiber thread dyed to match the primary color of the gown.

Short Gowns found their origin in the mid Atlantic colonies among the Germanic and Quaker communities. Their popularity didn't spread until after the AWI, so it is unlikely you would see them being worn by British or Southern American women. That said, if you wear one it should be hand sewn of wool, a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes.

Gown - Acceptable

The fashion for open fronted gowns with stomachers was fading by the early 1780s. Closed front gowns such as a nightgown or “robe à l'anglaise.” were becoming popular. Your gown should be made of wool (remember - you're in the South!), a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes. Save your brocade, embroidered, and damask finery with extensive petticoats, side hips, or hooping for that Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Your gown may be machine sewn with hand sewn finishing details with natural or artificial fiber thread dyed to match the primary color of the gown.

Short Gowns found their origin in the mid Atlantic colonies among the Germanic and Quaker communities. Their popularity didn't spread until after the AWI, so it is unlikely you would see them being worn by British or Southern American women. That said, if you wear one it may be machine sewn with hand sewn finishing details with natural or artificial fiber thread, of wool, a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes.

Gown - Strongly Discouraged

Gowns made of an undocumented cotton or linen print, or a solid color from obvious artificial dyes. Brocade, embroidered, and damask finery with extensive petticoats, side hips, and hooping. Fully machine sewn.

Short Gowns fully machine sewn of an undocumented cotton or linen print, or a solid color from obvious artificial dyes.

Gown - Not Acceptable

Gowns made of heavy upholstery fabric. Gowns mades of shiny taffeta in artificial colors. Fantasy gowns. Gowns with bust darts. Off the rack Ye Olde Costume Shoppe gowns.

Short Gowns fully machine sewn of upholstery fabric.

Jackets - Preferred

Jackets were sometimes worn by younger women. They were more fitted than a short gown, and ranged in length from just below the waist to mid thigh. If you wear one it should be hand sewn of wool, a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes.

Jackets - Acceptable

Jackets were sometimes worn by younger women. They were more fitted than a short gown, and ranged in length from just below the waist to mid thigh. If you wear one it may be machine sewn with hand sewn finishing details with natural or artificial fiber thread, of wool, a documented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from natural dyes.

Jackets - Strongly Discouraged

Fully machine sewn with natural or artificial fiber thread of an undocumented cotton or linen print, or a solid color available from obvious artificial dyes.

Jackets - Not Acceptable

Fully machine sewn of upholstery fabric. Jackets with bust darts. Off the rack Ye Olde Costume Shoppe jackets.

The English or French “bodice”.

Shift - Preferred

A shift (please don't call it a chemise!) should be hand sewn of lightweight white or off-white linen. It should be about calf length, with sleeves that reach just below the elbow. Sleeves were narrowing by the 1780s. If your shift sleeves are wide enough they should have a narrow cuff band and fasten with links. If your shift has one of the newer narrow sleeves the cuffs may be finished plain, with no band. The neck opening should not be gathered, it should be hand finished and well rounded, to follow the neckline of a gown.

Shift - Acceptable

A shift (please don't call it a chemise!) may be machine sewn with hand sewn finishing details with natural or artificial fiber thread of lightweight white or off-white linen. It should be about calf length, with sleeves that reach just below the elbow. Sleeves were narrowing by the 1780s. If your shift sleeves are wide enough they should have a narrow cuff band and fasten with links. If your shift has one of the newer narrow sleeves the cuffs may be finished plain, with no band. The neck opening should not be gathered, it should be hand finished and well rounded, to follow the neckline of a gown.

Shift - Strongly Discouraged

A fully machine sewn shift of lightweight white or off-white linen. Too long (ankle) or too short (thigh) length, with sleeves that reach below the elbow. Gathered neck opening.

Shift - Not Acceptable

A fully machine sewn shift of heavyweight white or off-white artificial or blend fiber. Colored or print fabric. Way too long (foot) or way too short (crotch) length, with sleeves that reach well below the elbow. Drawstring neckline and/or cuffs.

Kerchief - Preferred

Most women found it practical to wear a kerchief folded and gathered around the neck and tucked unto the bust line under the gown front, although you could also pin it to the outside of the gown. If nothing else it can help sensitive areas from getting sunburned! Kerchiefs can be either a folded square or a triangle. They can be plain lightweight white linen, cotton, or silk, or be colored, checked, or even printed. Kerchiefs must be hand finished. If colored, the color must be as from a natural dye, if printed the print must be a documented pattern.

Kerchief - Strongly Discouraged

Machine sewn kerchiefs. If colored, dyed with an obviously artificial dye, if printed, with an undocumented pattern.

Kerchief - Not Acceptable

Heavyweight and/or artificial fiber. Modern paisley or bandanna prints.

Stays and jumps

Stays or jumps must be worn by most women, with stays being by far the preferred garment. Stays may be fully or partially boned. The fashion fabric may be wool or linen, perhaps even a silk or linen brocade or damask as your sole indulgence. They should lace in back. All stitching and eyelets must be hand sewn. All lacing and binding must be natural materials.

Jumps may be worn by pregnant women, women performing heavy labor, invalids, children, or women in dire circumstances. The fashion fabric may be wool or linen. They may lace in front and/or back. All stitching and eyelets must be hand sewn. All lacing and binding must be natural materials.

Stays and jumps - Acceptable

Stays or jumps must be worn by most women, with stays being by far the preferred garment. Stays may be fully or partially boned. The fashion fabric may be wool or linen, perhaps even a silk or linen brocade or damask as your sole indulgence. They should lace in back. They may be machine sewn but the eyelets must be hand sewn. All lacing and binding must be natural materials.

Jumps may be worn by pregnant women, women performing heavy labor, invalids, children, or women in dire circumstances. The fashion fabric may be wool or linen. They may lace in front and/or back. They may be machine sewn but the eyelets must be hand sewn. All lacing and binding must be natural materials.

Stays and jumps - Strongly Discouraged

Badly fitted stays or jumps. Fully machine sewn. Laced or bound with artificial materials.

Stays and jumps - Not Acceptable

No stays or jumps.

Petticoats - Preferred

Under petticoats should be hand sewn of white linen, using natural fiber thread. The hem may be finished or bound. Outer petticoats may be a plain solid color, striped, or match the fabric of the gown. The colors must be as available from a natural dye. Petticoats may be no shorter than the top of the ankle.

Petticoats - Acceptable

Under petticoats may be machine sewn but be hand finished of white linen, using natural fiber thread. The hem may be finished or bound. Outer petticoats may be a plain solid color, striped, or match the fabric of the gown. The colors must be as available from a natural dye. Petticoats may be no shorter than the top of the ankle.

Petticoats - Strongly Discouraged

Outer petticoats made of upholstery fabric. Obvious artificial colors. Petticoats too long (below the ankle) too short (knee length).

Petticoats - Not Acceptable

Petticoats way too long (below the ankle) too short (knee length).

Stockings - Preferred

Stockings should be hand woven over the knee length with a rear seam. They may be made of wool, linen, or cotton, in plain white, solid colors, or vertical stripes.

Garters should be a linen or wool tape.

Stockings - Acceptable

Stockings may be hand or machine woven over the knee length with a rear seam. They may be made of wool, linen, or cotton, in plain white, solid colors, or vertical stripes.

Garters should be a linen or wool tape.

Stockings - Strongly Discouraged

Stockings machine woven over the knee length with no seam.

No garters.

Stockings - Not Acceptable

Poly cotton athletic stockings. Stockings with horizontal stripes. Panty hose.

Leather garters with buckles.

Pockets - Preferred

Pockets should be hand sewn. They may be made of a documented print cotton, linen, wool, linsey woolsey, they can be quilted, or embroidered in natural threads (either wool or silk) on a linen ground, or pieced in a pattern. They may be bound or unbound. Pockets should be worn over your stays, under your outer garments.

Pockets - Acceptable

Pockets may be machine sewn and hand finished. They may be made of a documented print cotton, linen, wool, linsey woolsey, they can be quilted, or embroidered in natural threads (either wool or silk) on a linen ground, or pieced in a pattern. They may be bound or unbound. Pockets should be worn over your stays, under your outer garments.

Pockets - Strongly Discouraged

Fully machine sewn. Made of undocumented print cotton or upholstery fabric.

Pockets - Not Acceptable

Worn outside the petticoats.

Aprons - Preferred

A hand sewn linen waist apron in checks, stripes, or solids. Wool aprons were known to exist, choose wisely and remember you are in the South. Aprons should fasten around the waist with linen tapes.

Aprons - Acceptable

A linen waist apron with concealed machine sewing, in checks, stripes, or solids. Wool aprons were known to exist, choose wisely and remember you are in the South. Aprons should fasten around the waist with linen tapes.

Aprons - Strongly Discouraged

Machine sewn linen waist apron in checks, stripes, or solids. Aprons fastened around the waist with artificial fiber tapes.

Aprons - Not Acceptable

Aprons in upholstery fabric. Aprons made with synthetic fibers in obvious artificial dyes.

Shoes - Preferred

Handmade straight last shoes in leather or fabric with a forward angled dished out heel. Leather shoes have butted and round closed seams on vamps and heels. Choose wisely for utility and durability; save the custom dyed fabric and/or brocade fancies for the Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Shoes may be fastened with a buckle or tied with a ribbon or strings. Men's shoes may be worn by women in dire circumstances; the men's shoes thus worn should follow the guidelines for men's shoes.

Bare feet with unpainted toenails is period correct - do this at your own risk!

Shoes - Acceptable

Machine sewn crooked last shoes in leather or fabric with a forward angled dished out heel. Choose wisely for utility and durability; save the custom dyed fabric and/or brocade fancies for the Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to. Shoes may be fastened with a buckle or tied with a ribbon or strings. Men's shoes may be worn by women in dire circumstances; the men's shoes thus worn should follow the guidelines for men's shoes.

Bare feet with unpainted toenails is period correct - do this at your own risk!

Shoes - Strongly Discouraged

Machine sewn shoes of dyed fabric and/or brocade fabric.

Bare feet with painted toenails.

Shoes - Not Acceptable

Hi-lows. Lace up oxfords. Mary Jane side buckle shoes. Ballet flats.

Eyewear - Preferred

No eyewear is by far the best choice.

If you must wear eyeglasses 18th century styled original or reproduction circular frames with circle ended double hinged temples and a high arch to the bridge. Tinted lenses existed in period but they were associated with weak eyes due to damage from syphilis. Be careful what your eyewear says about you…

Eyewear - Acceptable

No eyewear is by far the best choice.

If you must wear eyeglasses 18th century styled original or reproduction circular or oval frames with circle or teardrop ended temples and/or a moderate arch to the bridge. Tinted lenses existed in period but they were associated with weak eyes due to damage from syphilis. Be careful what your eyewear says about you…

Eyewear - Strongly Discouraged

Wire framed rectangular or oval "Granny Glasses" with thin wire temples.

Eyewear - Not Acceptable

20th or 21st Century styled plastic or metal framed eyeglasses. Unnaturally colored contact lenses. Cateye contacts. (Would you even? I'd kind of like to see that before I ask you to take them out)

Jewelry - Preferred

No jewelry is entirely period correct. Don't bother wearing fancy chokers, broaches, pearls, big dangly earrings - the only women left in Yorktown are those who absolutely *had* to be there. An officer's wife might be able to get away with a little jewelry, otherwise you have most likely pawned it. If you still owned it you certainly wouldn't be wearing it out in a town crowded with soldiers, sailors, and refugees. If you must, a plain and simple wedding band in white or yellow metal. Plain rings and trade jewelry; simple jewelry of period design that fits the station you portray.

Jewelry - Strongly Discouraged

Lots of rings, bracelets, trade jewelry, earrings.

Jewelry - Not Acceptable

Post 18th Century jewelry (a modern wedding ring is permissible).

Grooming - Preferred

A clean make up free face with no eye liner. You can get by with a very light foundation and a hint of blush, but save the lead, arsenic, and titanium white tainted face powder for the Grand Ball you have been meaning to get to.

Grooming - Strongly Discouraged

Obvious foundation, blush, eyeliner, nail polish.

Grooming - Not Acceptable

Heavy makeup, eye shadow, lipstick. Unnatural hair color. Bangs. Lots of visible hair. Tattoos. Ink. Piercings.

Children's Guidelines for Before the Siege

If your son has been Breeched please look at the Men's Clothing Guidelines for clothing standards.

Preferred

Girls and Young Boys should be attired in a back lacing gowns and caps. These gowns should follow the fabric standards found in the Women's Clothing Guidelines. Babies should be wearing a cap, napkin (diaper) with a pilcher (diaper cover), shirt, petticoat, robe/bedgown, stockings and booties. White linen was used for most baby garments. They should be completely hand sewn, including eyelets. Infants may be swaddled if the parent wants. Blankets and bedding are good for nap time!

Acceptable

Girls and Young Boys should be attired in a back lacing gowns and caps. These gowns should follow the fabric standards found in the Women's Clothing Guidelines. Babies should be wearing a cap, napkin (diaper) with a pilcher (diaper cover), shirt, petticoat, robe/bedgown, stockings and booties. White linen was used for most baby garments. They may have concealed machine sewing, with hand finishing, including eyelets. Infants may be swaddled if the parent wants. Blankets and bedding are good for nap time!

Strongly Discouraged

Entirely machine sewn garments, synthetic or modern fabrics, undocumented fabrics or trims.

Not Acceptable

Modern baby clothes.

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