| ||---------- introduction ---------- quick facts ---------- brief timeline ---------- clothing ---------- citations & credits ----------|
Colonial America (1600s)
Colonialists from all over Europe began to settle in the land soon to be the United States. Males wore linen clothing with cloaks and knit stockings. The women of this era wore long dresses with bright colors along with a hooded cloak. (Visual Dictionary)
• Children wore wool or linen in blue, grey, red, green, yellow, and brown. (Visual Dictionary)
• A woman’s dress dropped down to her ankles. (Visual Dictionary)
• Wealthy men and young boys wore a black suit, a hat, and black shoes for Sunday church ceremonies. (Visual Dictionary)
Early America (1700s)
In 1776, American colonist declared independence from Britain. This event marked the birth of the United States of America. Men during this era wore three-cornered hats, a white linen undershirt, breeches, stockings, and a waistcoat or a vest. The shoes had soles but were not shaped into the right or the left until worn by the wearer’s feet. Also, men typically wore white wigs. A woman would wear a gown consisting of a cap, a bodice with a skirt around the waistline. The petticoat consists of layers of skirts which was commonly a total of eight.
• Children wore clothes resembling their parents’ attire. (Chronology)
• In the late 1700s, children were given their own design in clothing, such as sailor suits. (Chronology)
• Certain inventions during this period, such as the cotton gin in 1793 by Eli Whitney and the other advances in textile manufacturing, began to pave the way for the mass manufacturing of clothes. (Wiki 18th)
Victorian America (1800s)
Americans began to undergo a reform in the style of clothing. Clothes began to have purposes aside from making the wearer look nice. For example, hats worn by men kept rain out of the eyes. This era also introduced the fashion of the Wild West and the cowboy. Cowboys, whose jobs were to protect cattle, wore boots to protect the feet from rocks and dirt. (Costume History)
• Women now wore rational dresses such as outfits suited for cycling or swimming, and even pants. This contradicted with the traditional layers of skirts which were previously worn in the last period. (Costume History)
• Little girls wore simple dresses with solid colors. Boys wore long gowns made out of silk or satin. (Costume History)
• Clothes became darker and drabber, a practice which originated in London, since the city was so sooty and soot would collect on their clothes. (Wiki Victorian)
Modern America (1900s)
The 20th century was a progressive era for America. The aftermath of World War I caused Americans to become more expressive and free in clothing. Flappers in the Roaring 20s were women who dressed in exposing clothing. Over time, each generation in America developed its own style of clothing. Much of the latter half of this century divided its subcultures according to musical preference.
• In the 1950s, Christian Dior's "New Look" revolutionized previously bland, conservative wartime styles. America, fresh from a World War, was looking for change, and Dior brought just that. Teenagers began to dominate the scene and dictate what was "cool" and what was not. Leather jackets became popular due to "bad boy" stars such as Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley. (Fashion Era)
• In the 1960s, hippies promoted peace and wore bright colors shirts and jeans with flowers and sun designs decorating their possessions. (Wikipedia)
• 1980s Hip-hop and punk styles were in fashion. Punk fashion involved many black clothes, ripped jeans, and heavy boots. (Wiki punk) Hip-hop fashion includes baggy jeans, Timberland boots or Converse shoes, and brand-name t-shirts such as FUBU or Roc-a-Wear. (Wiki Hip Hop)
• 1990s was divided into mainly Pop Culture boy bands and Grunge rockers. Grunge, which began in the 1980s, became mainstream in the early 90s. Grunge fashion involved ripped jeans, t-shirts, and flannel shirts. (Wiki Grunge) Pop culture is constantly changing, and is often dictated by film and television stars.