American Clothing Styles - 1700s AD - Eighteenth Century American Clothing answers questions

American Clothes - 1700s

Hendrick, an Iroquois leader, in 1740 AD

By the 1700s, clothing styles had changed more. There were not so many deer on the East Coast anymore, and most people gave up wearing deerskin and started to wear wool and linen clothing. Because Christian settlers on the East Coast thought it was wrong to show your skin or hair, Iroquois and Cherokee women on the East Coast started to wear clothes more of the time, and to cover their hair with scarves, and to wear their skirts longer, down to their ankles. Men who wanted to seem stylish began to dress more like European men. Over their linen shirts, they wore wool breeches (shorts) and linen stockings (knee socks), and wool jackets or waistcoats.

In the very end of the 1700s, in 1793, Eli Whitney invented a new kind of cotton gin that let people grow a lot more cotton much cheaper than before, and quickly both Native American people and settlers began to wear cotton clothing instead of the more expensive linen and wool.

Learn by doing: in your closet, what are the clothes made of?
More American Clothing - the 1800s

Bibliography and further reading about American clothing:

North American clothing before 1500 AD
North American Economy
American History home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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