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Pilgrim Clothing

Myth is that the Pilgrims wore black clothes with white colors and buckles on their hats

and shoes


Pilgrims from middling social class in England of artisans and yoemen farmers

their clothing represented this status which was the commonest in England


English style was originally French, Spanish, Dutch or German and was adopted


wool, linen and leather most common

some silk

Leather used by countrymen because of its durability, pretty common


colored using vegetable dyes

colors not as bright as our chemical colors today but were not drab and dour

colors not colorfast so they faded in the sun and ran in the rain



Shirt: made of linen, loose with long sleeves, ties and hooks and eyes at collar and wrist,

gathered into bands at cuffs and neck

Bands: at neck and cuffs

Waistcoat: undergarment worn over a shirt for warmth, knitted sweater type, quilted vests, may or may not have sleeves

Drawers: can be brays- short, close-fitting breeches of linen or stockings of linen, wool or leather worn over finer stockings for protection (these are probably the most common types in Plymouth)

Stockings: of wool or worsted cloth covering legs to mid-thigh, also had Irish Stockings of cloth with "stirrups" that fitted under foot

Garters: narrow bands tied or buckled below the knee to hold up stockings

Doublet: worn over a shirt, a close fitting, padded and lined garment with a high neck and sleeves

Jerkin: similar to a doublet but not padded to be worn over the doublet for warmth

Breeches: pants that reach to the knees, they can be very tight to loose and baggy (called slops)

Cassock: loose thigh length pull over garment like a sweatshirt to us

Horsemans Coat/ Gabardine: loose evercoat with wide sleeves one was given to Squanto and one to Massasoit

Cloak: knee-length with no collar, could be part of a suit

Gown: ankle-length fairly loose, fur-lined garments suitable for older men, scholars and men in authority

Hat/ Cap: most expensive were made of beaver felt, some straw hats, caps have no brims, knitted caps were called Monmouth caps, shaggy topped thrum caps for sailors, close fitting linen caps worn by scholars or as bed caps

Shoes/ Boots: leather with low or no heel, boots went to mid-thigh

Belts: narrow, used to hold swords or knifes, or purses

Purse: small leather or knitted wool bag used for carrying small items

Gloves: knitted or leather

Mittens: knitted or leather


Smock/ Shift: female version of a shirt.

Bands: same as mens

Corset: funnel-shaped garment of leather or linen supported with whalebone

Underpetticoat: wool, like a skirt to make a woman look fashionably bulky, servants may have none, a fashionable woman may have 5-7 on at once

Bum Roll: sausage-shaped pad tied around the hips to create an upside down tulip shape

Skirt: may be ankle length or have a train depending on ones station as servant or matron

Waistcoat: like mens, or like a jacket

Gown: open gown loose fitting worn over a waistcoat and skirt and a fitted gown, closer fitting

Doublet: Like a mans

Coif: close-fitting linen cap that covers the top, back and sides of head

Coats/ Cloaks: same as mens

Shoes: same as mens, no boots for women

Stockings: same as mens

Apron: of wool or linenInfants

Swaddling: squares of cloth and bands wrapped around the baby, probably used at a minimum for 4 weeks up to a year

Tailclouts: square diapers of wool or linen


Shirt: miniature version of adult one

Gown: long shirt

Biggin: cap made of wool or linen tied under the chin for warmth


Gown/ Short Coat: ankle-length loose garment worn when child begins to crawl, often with leading strings attached to back to help child maintain balance

Pudding: a sausage shaped protective headgear roll with chin straps worn for protection from falls

Muckinder: childs handkerchief

Shoes/ Stockings: same as adults

Apron: usually with a bib, for both boys and girls

Cloak: like adults

Girls wore back-closing gowns until about 10 years old then wore mini-adult womens clothes

Boys wore fashions similar to girls until age 6 or 7 when they went through the celebration of breeching, at this time they give up the gown for mini-adult male clothes.

Plymouth clothes: provided by the company in the first few years, individuals could buy their own as well